Reflecting on our past can hopefully provide fond memories; reminders of the people and places we hold dear. Sometimes, in that reflecting, we find ourselves missing those who were once an integral part of our lives. I have many friends and family that I don’t get to see as often as I would like to, and because of that I feel like a part of my life is missing. I am sure you have friends and family that you haven’t seen in a while who bring those feelings to you as well. We all have people who pass through our lives, leaving great impressions and influences on us. And while we will most likely carry those memories with us our entire lives, missing those who have had great influence on us is just part of this life.
Is it possible to miss a place that we have yet to visit? I sometimes miss the places I have called home, but that’s because I have great memories of the people I know there, the hills I used to climb on my bike, and the great barbeque I could find on just about any corner. But to be homesick for a place that I have yet to call home can seem kind of strange at times. What makes it feel strange is that I find myself dreaming and longing for someplace I cannot fully comprehend.
I have never physically seen heaven. I didn’t spend my vacation there last year. No person, except the apostle John, has seen the splendor of the place still being created by God. But as His children, and because of His promises, we can long for a place we have yet to visit, and that’s okay. The apostle Paul spoke of his longing for heaven when he said in 2 Corinthians 5, “Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling…”
Sometimes the things of this world can weigh so heavily on us that we simply groan and long for the day when our tears will be wiped away, those we have missed will be by our side, and we’ll be in the eternal presence of the One who gave His all for us. But what about today? What about now? How are we to live in light of what is to come? Paul continues with his encouragement in 2 Corinthians when he says, “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight…we make it our goal to please Him…”
It’s okay to be homesick for that place where we’ll be complete and the struggles of this life will be forgotten. We have a great home awaiting us and that homecoming will be like no other we have ever experienced. But until that day comes we must continue to live this life by faith; in His promises, in His Word, and in His presence. And our goal should be to please Him in all we do. Is that your goal today? I pray it is.
If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. -C.S. Lewis
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