The word, “paradise” conjures up so many lovely mental images. For me, paradise would be someplace quiet and calm with plenty of places to relax and enjoy sunshine and a stunning view. Paradise would be a place where stress would not exist and troubles would float away with each receding wave. It would not be too hot or too cold. Sand would stay where it belonged. Throw in a personal servant seeing to my every need and I will have arrived!
In today’s verse an entirely different place is meant by Paradise. The thief on the cross came to believe that Jesus is God in the last moment of his life. Jesus assures him that he will be with Him in Paradise that very day. His sincere faith in Jesus as the Son of God was all that was needed to save his soul. Paradise is His Kingdom and nothing can adequately describe what we will find there. What is prepared for those who love Him is beyond what eye can see or ear hear, or even what minds can imagine (I Cor. 2:9).
My ideas of Paradise fall so short of the incredible and indescribable reality! When I allow myself to dream of what awaits, I see my circumstances a little differently! But Paradise would not be worth much without His presence. Jesus promised this forgiven thief that he would be with Him. He is LOVE and His presence will be the paradise for which every human heart has longed.
Thank you Lord, for giving me just a taste of Paradise with Your love here and now.