“The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Revelation 1:1-2
John had been a faithful follower of the Lord. We might have expected that he would spend his last days basking in the sun on a beautiful island as a grand reward for his faith. That is not what happened. Here we read that in the last days of his life, he was exiled for his faith to an island of hard, volcanic rock, Patmos, a penal colony. This place was small; most accounts say it was just a few square miles. He didn’t get to shelter at home. He sheltered in exile. The island of Patmos wasn’t a vacation spot; it was barren, forsaken, a place for the forgotten of the world.
But God never forgot him. God was with him. And right there in the exile, the barrenness, the hard labor, the separation, God gave him the exquisite, the majestic, the glorious. John saw Christ Jesus, the future, and heaven.
When we were sheltering at home, we were in nice places, comfortable, eating our food, maybe not exactly what we would have picked if the shelves and meat cases had been full, but not just bread and water either. However, they were challenging days. Disease lurked; fear was rampant; we couldn’t do many of the things that we were used to doing. So, we experienced a taste of barrenness and exile from loved ones.
But today what does God want to show us? What glorious vision of Jesus will we see if we redeem the time and spend it with Him? What new vision of who He is might we experience?
We can know that just like God didn’t abandon John, He won’t abandon us. Rest in that.