Wallowa Lake, in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, is my favorite place on earth. Head up from LaGrande, Oregon through Elgin, Enterprise, over the Minam Grade, down the Wallowa River canyon, and suddenly you drive out into the most incredible valley, with green fields, flowing streams, and snow-capped mountains rising straight up all around you. It’s called the Switzerland of America, but it beats Switzerland all hollow. Wallowa Lake is set like a jewel, right at the head of the valley. I spent much of my childhood roaming the mountains around the lake, trout fishing, hiking, camping… I have always dreamed of living there.
But what I have learned after many years in this world, is that even the most beautiful place on earth pales in comparison to the glory that awaits us when we come into our inheritance in Christ, and are seated in Him, in heavenly places, ruling and reigning over the new heavens and the new earth.
We are so focused on the earth, and our life here, that we forget that this creation is corrupted – forever spoiled and useless to God, because of the rebellion of a proud creature named Lucifer. One day, our God, who is a God of love, but also a God of righteousness who must judge sin, will complete His judgment of this corrupted sphere and it will melt in fervent heat, to be replaced by a garden of unbearable beauty.
If the places I love on this earth are beautiful beyond description, then it is impossible for me to comprehend the wonder of His coming new creation… and how big the trout will be…
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now, and not only they but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body… Romans 8:22-23