I’m following an Advent reading plan right now distributed by Olive Tree, and today’s reading included Isaiah 11:6-9. This is the familiar “the lion will lay with the lamb” passage, but the verses that jumped out at me were the one that says “the cow and the bear will graze together” and then, “An infant will play beside the cobra’s pit,
and a toddler will put his hand into a snake’s den.”
Right now our girls have a very real fear of snakes; and whether it’s true or not, every time they wake up with nightmares they tell me it’s because they are dreaming of snakes. So the thought that children and snakes will co-habitate just fine is quite an amazing promise to me. But verse 9 is really the one that spoke to me this morning: “None will harm or destroy another on My entire holy mountain, for the land will be as full of the knowledge of the Lord as the sea is filled with water.”
A few days ago one of our dogs got out of the backyard early in the morning and I spent (literally) 30 minutes driving the neighborhood in the rain searching for her. I finally had to come back to the house without her so I could get ready for work, and the whole time I was thinking two things. First, how was I going to explain to the girls that she was gone. Second, I kept asking the Lord if he could bring her back. My fear was that she was going to get hit by a car, attacked by a wild animal, or dognapped by someone who wanted a free dog. When I turned the corner onto our street I literally saw her standing in the middle of the road in front of the neighbors house. When I got out of the car she looked at me and ran toward me with a look of, “Oh good, daddy, I was looking for you for the past 30 minutes. Where have you been?” Gotta love how dogs can switch the perspective.
I’ve blogged before about how much I love nature and animals, so a promise of how God will make the lion and lamb, the bear and cow, and children and snakes all live together without fear is absolutely amazing to me. To consider that there will be a world where “none will harm or destroy another” seems too good to be true, until I consider the one who promised it. Two years ago I wrote a blog post about visiting Sea World and watching the dolphin show, so I’m going to close by simply referring to that post without actually copying it here. Maybe, just maybe, this picture will actually happen in the New Earth – a place I am looking forward to seeing.