I began a Beth Moore Bible study this past January that just ended in April. The study was through the book of Revelation. In one of the last lessons, Beth asked, “Have you ever longed to return to a place, a geographical, physical place? A place that is familiar with things and places you know? A place where your family or friends are?”
“YES, YES!!” I shouted to myself, “Yes, I want to go there!!!”
“And then have you ever noticed, that if you’ve returned to that place, after a while of being there, you realize that deep longing you have for home is still there? And it doesn’t make sense because everything you longed for is now right there in front of you. But, I think,” Beth continued, “what we are all really longing for is not a physical home, but our heavenly home with our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I had never thought of that before, but I knew it was true, because I’ve had similar experiences in my life before. When people ask if I like Florida, my response is, “Yes, I do like it here, but I miss Wisconsin and the beauty of the state, but most of all, I miss people- my family and friends SO much.” And it’s true, but the longing that I have that is so deep inside of me for home, I’m pretty sure wouldn’t be fulfilled if those people of home were near me. At first, yes, they would fulfill, but after a couple weeks and life going back to normal after the reunion, I know I would still find myself longing.
Never in my life before have I ever experienced this longing for so long that is so deep. I don’t even know how to put words to it. I am just so needy for Jesus. When I get “homesick”, it usually hits me out of nowhere on the weekends when I’m not on the go and have time to think. I’ll be fine one moment, and the next, tears will come. And in those moments, I tell Jesus that I still love and trust Him, more than ever, but I’m just reminded of all that He has blessed me with at home, and I miss those blessings. It’s weird, but I experience His peace that transcends all understanding simultaneously as I experience this deep sadness and longing for people. Sometimes I get those feelings confused with thinking that I’m longing for a husband so that I could be married and daily have someone by my side who will not leave me. But in those moments, I have to remind myself, that none of those people could ever fulfill me. Only Jesus can fulfill me because He’s the only and everything that can fill.
All of this theory and hypothesis by Beth Moore was proved true a couple weeks ago. My mom came to visit me Mother’s Day weekend. We had SO much fun, and I loved every moment and now miss every moment. But that Sunday we were sitting in church; at the end of the message as we entered communion time, the tears came again- out of nowhere. And I was so confused. Usually when that happens, it’s because I think about how much I miss my dad, mom, brother, friends; but this time, my mom was sitting right next to me, so how could I miss her? I realized, I wasn’t longing for my mom; I was longing for Jesus. Eternity is set in my heart, and I’m longing for home.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country…for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God…
…All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country- a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” Hebrews 11:8-16