HomeWord - Feb. 13, 2009

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Longing for Home 
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. — Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV)
 

You’ve probably seen pictures or video of the “Great Blackout of 2003”.  On August 14, millions of people throughout the Midwest and the Northeast suddenly lost all electricity.  One picture that is fixed in my mind is that of thousands of people walking across a bridge in New York City on their way home.

My wife, Jenny, has a friend who was part of that crowd.  It took her friend four hours to walk home.  By the time she arrived, she only had a couple of hours at home, before starting her trek to walk back into Manhattan. My wife asked, “Why didn’t you stay downtown instead of walking a total of 8 hours – just so you could be home for 2 hours?”  The woman’s reply was, “I just wanted to get to my home.” In times of crisis, it’s natural to want to go home.

Reflecting on this, I am reminded that as followers of Christ, this world is not our home.  Our real home (and our real life) awaits us in heaven, beyond the curtain of this life.  Yet, I don’t find myself yearning to get to my real home. Do you? Perhaps it’s the fact that familiarity of this life, of this existence, breeds complacency.  Perhaps it’s the fact that I’m afraid of the unknown. Ultimately, I’m not sure why I lack this longing.

What I am sure of – and what we all need a reminder of – is that our future home is glorious and more real than anything we’ve experienced here in this life.  This life is somewhat like an athlete’s warm-up before the game.  Athletes go through the motions, running through techniques and plays in order to get ready for the real deal. So too, God is using our experiences in this life to prepare us for what lies ahead in the next.

Perhaps greatest of all, in our new home we will experience God’s presence in a way that we cannot experience now. We will see Him face to face (1 Cor.13:9-12).  We will be present with Him without the barriers of this life that only allow us to gain glimpses of His glory.  The best is yet to come!

The next time you face a crisis, remember to keep perspective. This is not all there is. And let it, at least for a moment, create a longing for your real home. It will be good for your soul.

GOING DEEPER:

  1. What gives you the most anxiety when you think about trading in this world for the next? 
  2. What are you most looking forward to experiencing in heaven? 
  3. What issues or circumstances in this life get in your way of longing for heaven?

FURTHER READING:
John 14:2-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Peter 1:4-5; 1 John 3:2

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