February 3, 2016
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Yesterday was Groundhog Day! While the origins of this celebration date back to the late 18th century among Pennsylvania Germans, the largest celebration is in Punxutawney, Pennsylvania where up to 40,000 people gather to see Punxutawney Phil emerge from his burrow. From Wikipedia:
According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges…then spring
will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow
and retreat…into its burrow, and the winter…will persist for six more weeks.
Twenty three years ago, on February 12, the movie, Groundhog Day was released in American theaters. The plot featured Bill Murray as meteorologist Phil Conners who was sent to Punxsutawney to cover the festivities. But he gets caught in a time warp that repeats February 2nd for at least 34 years (there are estimates of up to 10,000 years!) The loop of the time warp is finally broken when Phil uses what he has learned for the good of others.
I began to think about the plot of that movie and what it will be like in heaven. I know the focus will be on Jesus Christ, and we will never tire of worshiping and praising Him! (See Psalm 45:17; 145:1, 2; Ezekiel 48:35; II Timothy 4:18; Revelation 1:6; 4:8-11; 5:8-14; 7:9-12;11:15-18; 14:1-5; 19:1-8; 21:1-8, 22-27; 22:8, 9). But will it be the same praise and worship over and over and over again for all eternity?
And then I thought of Lamentations 3:21-26:
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the LORD’S
mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They
are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The LORD is my por-
tion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him.” The LORD is good to
those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one
should both hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
There is a lot we could say about this marvelous scripture Jeremiah wrote after Jerusalem was invaded and sacked by the Babylonian army in 586 BC. In the middle of 154 verses of grief and tears, the prophet lifts his spiritual eyes toward heaven and for a few verses sees God who is still good, merciful, compassionate, faithful, and loving – One in whom we can safely put our hope, no natter what the circumstances surrounding us!
But it is verse 22 that caught my attention as far as the movie Groundhog Day is concerned: “Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” If His compassions are new every morning, then I can’t see a life lived out in heaven of repeated sameness day after day! New compassions suggests a freshness of life that every day will be an adventure! Verse 22 seems to suggest that it is not just the Lord’s compassions that are new every morning. His mercies and faithfulness are also named, and will probably be fresh and new!
Yes, I know that it says in Revelation 22:5 and 6, “And there shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light….‘These words are faithful and true.’ ” Since there shall be no night there…nor light of the sun, it follows that days would not be measured in heaven as they are now! But if and however time is measured in heaven, it would never be a boring loop of repetition!
I hope Punxutawney Phil (the groundhog) did not see his shadow yesterday! And I hope Winter will soon be over where I live in Pennsylvania, as well as for you. May the early Spring be more than warmer weather. May any Winter darkness in your life give way to the Son-shine of a glorious Spring that lasts until you see Him face to face!