The beginning and the ending of the Bible are similar. God was at the beginning and He is at the ending. In the beginning there is “paradise” and at the end there is “paradise. In the beginning there is a river: “A river watering the garden flowed from Eden…” Genesis 2:10. At the end: “The angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.” Revelation 22:1 -3. We live in between the beginning and the end and it is no longer “paradise” for sin entered the world and with that came a fallen world with sickness, sorrow, pain and death, but even still, a river flows, the river of God’s love, grace, forgiveness, comfort and hope. Through Jesus we can receive the blessings of that river that flows from God’s throne now.
One day there will be a new heaven and new earth. God will restore what was lost and those who receive salvation in Jesus will enter the new “Paradise” prepared for His children. Yesterday we celebrated the homegoing of my mother of 99 years who recently had quoted, “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” Psalm 23:6
It is comforting to know that "paradise” awaits believers but also to know that the river of God’s grace, mercy and love flows into our lives each day of our sorrow and grief.