Maybe this world is not your home...?
Not long ago, I went to a chicken lady’s house to exchange a silly-looking black silkie rooster for what I thought I had bought, a hen. As soon as I turned onto the property, I realized how very poor was my chicken-loving friend; I instantly felt sick. And she was not even there because she was several hours away taking care of her mother who is losing the battle to cancer. What could I do? Could I help? I found a small way, but still . . .
There is so much wrong in this world...on the micro level and yes, macro too: Covid, Afghanistan and now Hurricane Ida; then there are the moral values that are so far from God, so far from pure! And then I remember--this world is not my home... I am bound for a better place. So are you.
The challenge is keeping our heads about us while we navigate the challenges, trusting God fully, maintaining an inner peace and even contentment. Again, Paul is our example: "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.1 (Yes, and he was in prison when he wrote that.) I believe that in obedience to God, I too am to learn what it means to be content, and walk in that.
Whether we are aware or not, we all have longings because things are just not as they ought to be. I am encouraged by the fact that those commended for their great faith in Hebrews 11 are noted to have been longing for a better country-a heavenly one.2
"If you find yourself with a desire that no experience in this world can satisfy, then the most probable explanation is that you were made for another world." C.S. Lewis. That's just it--we were made for Heaven, made to be with God. Paul said, we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.3 While we have glimpses of Glory to be sure, true joy and longings fulfilled will only come when we are in the presence of God forever.
John wrote about "a new heaven and a new earth," where God's dwelling place is among the people, and he will dwell with us, when we will be his people, and God himself will be with us and be our God. 'He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death' or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."4 Oh, and there is so much more in Revelation chapter 21.
In the meantime, Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.5
And in the meantime, we live fully for the Lord . . . I love how Erwin McManus captured this challenge:
"We each have one life, but this life has eternal significance.
What we do in this one life has infinite implications, and beyond that,
our stories are bigger than history. Our stories don't end when we do.
They are only the beginning of much greater stories, the content of which we are completely unaware... most of us underestimate how much God actually wants to do in our lives and through our lives."6
See, we all have God-given quivers with arrows we are meant to shoot, and we are not meant to die with our quivers full.
And in the meantime - the time between now and Heaven, we love fully
because God loved us first, and because in loving, we are most like him. As Christ followers, it is so important that we express our love for others.
It is true. Our longings point us home. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.7 So yes, we have longings . . . and
longings are a good thing as they point us home.
1 - Philippians 4.11-12
2 - Hebrews 11.16
3 - Philippians 3.20
4 - Revelation 21.1-4
5 - Hebrews 12.2
6 - The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life, Erwin Raphael McManus
7 - 1 Corinthian 13.12