Sometimes the positives in life are so overwhelming that you can describe them only in negatives. That's the way it is with the New Jerusalem. The reality of the New Jerusalem is indescribable. We learn that it will have no temple, no need of sun or moon, no night, and the gates will never shut. Its inhabitants will never have to deal with tears, death, mourning, crying or pain (Rev. 21:4). The first taste of Paradise is an experience check: "Oops, no more death, no more night. Oops, no more locked doors. Oops, no more pain. This place is great!"
It reminds me of November 9, 1989. At 7:00 p.m. the East German Politburo, responding to weeks of peaceful demonstrations, announced that all citizens could leave East Germany at any crossing "immediately." After making this announcement they notified Harald Jager, head of passport control at the Berlin Wall's Bornholmer Strasse check-point, that no one was to pass through unless they had the proper documentation.
Having faithfully watched over his border crossing for all of its 28 years of existence, Jager determined to continue doing his duty this evening. But by 11:00 p.m. things began getting out of control. A crowd of 20,000 people pressed against the crossing, demanding to be allowed through, but most had not yet been able to secure the proper documents.
The crowd began to chant, "Open the gate! Open the gate!" Open the gate!"
Jager's men looked to him for instructions. But he had no orders for such a situation. He didn't know what to do. The border guards became insistent: "Tell us what to do!" Jager held the fate of 20,000 people--yes, even a whole country--in his hands.
"What shall I do?" he implored his men. "Order you to shoot?" Jager knew that the only way he could carry out his orders was through bloodshed.
Shortly after 11:00 p.m. he told his men at the gates, "Open them all!" By dawn an estimated 100,000 delirious East Germans had slipped past him on their way to a raucous celebration in West Berlin. Over the next few days revelers from both East and West hammered away at the symbol of Soviet communist oppression and toasted their freedom. For them the symbol of hoped-for paradise was "Her gates will never ever be shut" again!
Lord, I thank You that none of the things that trouble or destroy today will long endure. Give me patience to wait for Your glorious liberation.