There have been many times in the past several years when I have longed for Home. The home I was made for. For the longest time I think I’ve viewed it more as some sort of paradise I’d visit someday, but really there was no rush. It was such an unknown. I knew it had to be a great place to go, especially considering the alternative, but I guess, it just seemed so far off. At least I had hoped so.
It baffles me a bit. That view. I can’t imagine if I were offered a fantastic extended vacation in paradise that I’d be willing to put it off. I’d be anxiously awaiting the arrival of my ticket. I’d be aching to get there.
A few years before my husband left, we’d done a study on heaven. It captured my imagination.
Heaven had always seemed a bit alien to me. But after studying more, I began to understand that heaven wasn’t going to seem strange to me. It wasn’t going to be weird but rather wonderful. I was comforted by this new perspective. I started even to look forward to it. But, honestly life was pretty good so there was no rush. I was happy and content living here on little ol' earth. Then my family shattered and life didn’t hold the comfort, security, and hope I’d rested in. I found I’d missed something in that study of Heaven.
I hadn’t really longed for it beyond recognizing that it would be a pretty amazing place to go.
But in the midst of my pain and sorrow, God showed me so clearly the comfort of knowing that my beautiful future was already determined. It was and still is secure.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you… 1 Peter 1:3-4
That inheritance…heaven…that’s a definite. It’s not some hoped for vacation spot…it’s my destiny. Jesus has guaranteed it. It’s set in stone. He is preparing a place for me…in fact, He is preparing a mansion for me!
"Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also." John 14:1-3
A mansion sounds lovely but honestly, I’d take a hammock with a view.
Thinking about heaven brings to mind how strongly I feel that earth is just not home...it’s most certainly a rough place to sojourn.
I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me! Psalm 119:19
I joke that this time on earth is like a 24 hour flu bug compared to eternity. It’s just awful but you know when it’s over you are gonna feel great!
In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
These past few years I’ve longed for heaven because my circumstances here have been so challenging, exhausting, and just down right no fun at times. I’ve craved the joy, peace, and no-more-tears of heaven.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4
But lately I’ve longed for heaven for a different reason. I’ve wanted to escape my own sinfulness. I’ve been so disappointed by my attitude, my actions, my reactions…by my propensity to sin.
I’m baffled by my struggle. God has loved me so well…so much…so continually…so completely. How is it possible I don’t love Him back with more fervor and less failure?
I’m weary of this battle. I wish I wasn’t a mess. I know we are all, to some degree, messes. Jars of clay easily broken and cracked, but (I wish I’d remember this) when that happens Jesus spills out! How beautiful that we, these cracked jars of clay, are filled with the treasure of Jesus!
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10
It’s not about how beautiful my pot is at all. It’s not about how strong or wonderful I am…it’s about His strength and His love.
I’m continually having to remind myself that this life isn’t about what I can do or not do. This life is about Him, and what He has already done.
I can rest in the knowledge that my success isn’t about MY success. My success is about Jesus’ success. His willingness to come here to this difficult place and live a life of faithfulness and sinlessness that I can’t even fathom. I wish I could live that life so badly. Thankfully, I’m not expected to.
God knew from the beginning that He was going to have to do this thing. After living the life I can’t live, He died the death I should have. And he didn’t stop there…He lived again so I could truly live!
All that I need…all that I wish and hope for both now and forevermore is answered “YES!” in Christ.
For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. This is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22
It leaves me wondering why I want to escape this earth so badly sometimes. I understand wanting to escape my sinfulness, but I believe I’m focusing on the wrong thing.
How much more inspiring to focus on Christ and what He has done for me and is still doing in me instead of all my mistakes and failures!
I still long very much for Home, but for now, God has called me to be an ambassador for Him here. To live for Him in my messy way. And to trust that He has got it all planned out. My ticket home to heaven will arrive at the perfect time…and I’ll be ready.
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. Ephesians 1:16-18