There Will Be No Sea

John, the last of the surviving apostles, was writing from the Island of Patmos where he had been banished “for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:9). Great mysteries passed before his eyes in holy vision. Strange symbols and illustrations outlined the history of the world and the church from his day till the close of time and the dawn of eternity. The reality of heaven, precious promises of hope, the majesty of God were all faithfully recorded. Among these words, John writes, “And there was no more sea” (Rev. 21:1).
In an earlier article, I wrote of Christ’s power to calm the tempestuous seas with the words “Peace, be still.” Stormy seas are frightening and dangerous. Heaven will be safe and free from fear. The sea is dark and mysterious, shrouding sundry unknowns beneath its waves. Heaven is full of light. There the mysteries of the ages will be unveiled, and we will know fully even as we are fully known (1 Cor. 13:12 NIV).

Among all of the characteristics of the sea, the one that I’m thinking about as I write this is its ability to separate. Exiled to the island of Patmos, John was separated from family and friends. Looking out at the sea from my apartment on Baranof Island, I am reminded that, by taking this interim pastor position in Sitka, Alaska, I am separated from family and friends. Praise God for new friends! And praise God that I can visit home and see Duang every two months. I think of the pioneer missionaries of ages past who were sometimes separated from kith and kin for years on end as they trudged through jungle and bush with the saving words of life, and I am humbled. We know nothing of sacrifice.

While seas may separate us from physical contact with those we love, we have FaceTime, Facebook, Skype, email, and SMS! So wherever they are on the planet, our loved ones are only a text message away. Death, however, is the ultimate separator. Our departed family and friends are beyond reach—“the dead know not anything” (Eccl. 9:5). We miss them, we mourn them, but we cannot contact them. The sea of death cannot be crossed by a boat, a plane or a text message.

Thank you, dear reader, for all that you do to help hasten the day when we will be able to say, “And there is no more sea!”

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