Way back in September, my son screamed and kicked as I carried him back into the house after his sisters climbed onto the big yellow school bus.
He still struggled some mornings well into the spring, especially after spring break.
This morning, partway through June, he once again stomped around the house with his chin tucked down to his chest and his arms criss-crossed after the girls walked out the door.
All this morning I tried to explain summer break to him, painting it as vividly as I could. This is the very last day in the school year. The girls will get to be with us more and we’ll have adventures together and time at home with each other.
But he still grumped around for at least 30 minutes because that didn’t make sense to him. The “Promised Land” of summer was closer than he ever realized, but still too far away to be real.
I sympathize with him. I know what it’s like to long for the promise fulfilled and to be oh so close, but not quite there yet.
On Monday, I walked through our soon-to-be new house and signed off saying it’s fixed up the way we want.
Then I drove back home to our current house, dug out yet another item I had already packed in a box, and continued the waiting for word of our closing date.
So, longing for what’s right around the corner but not being able to fully relax and celebrate? I’m right there with you, son.
This insatiable longing for what is to come makes me wonder, though, why I don’t ache more often for “home.”
All of us should be longing for heaven. It should be a deep stirring within us because absolutely nothing we achieve or receive on this planet will fill up that gnawing need for eternity with Jesus.
Before He died, Jesus comforted His disciples with these words:
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 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? 3 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 ESV).
Our heart’s truest desire should be this: to be with Christ in that place He’s prepared for us.
We can live like Abraham, who was willing to abide in tents because “he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, who designer and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10 ESV).
He didn’t need a palace, a mansion, or a luxury condo. Instead, he was satisfied with a tent because he had heaven in mind.
And those other ancestors of faith looked forward also. The Bible says, “They desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:15).
Isn’t this what we desire, too?
When we hear the news yet again:
Divorce. Abuse. Neglect. Death. Cancer. Pain. Injustice. Starvation and famine. Poverty.
Don’t we ache with the way this doesn’t fit? It’s not right? This isn’t God’s best?
And that’s when we remember to cry out: Come, Lord Jesus! We long for you so!
We long for heaven. This yearning for the eternal is deep within us and it should drive who we are.
It should stir us to PATIENCE with the now when God asks us to wait because we keep looking forward to His promises fulfilled.
It stir us to ACT. Stand up for what is right. Pursue righteousness. Offer mercy. Live justly. Because the Kingdom of God is something we can live now in anticipation of perfection in heaven.
Eternity doesn’t begin for Christians after we die. Eternity begins the moment we accept Christ as Lord. I’m already living in my “forever with the Lord” and that means pursuing Jesus’s presence here and now.
And it should stir us to PRAY: To come before Him with hearts crushed and broken by sin and evil. We seek the hope that only Jesus can bring: the assurance that this isn’t all there is.
He is indeed preparing a place for us.
“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 ESV).
“This world is not my home; I’m just a-passing through.”