I'm a little homesick today. Maybe you are too.
What's funny is that I'm not even totally sure what I'm homesick for. It could be about a billion things, people and places. Is it highway 18, on the way up to see friends in Crestline and Lake Arrowhead? Or maybe Riverside, along Victoria Ave and all the orange groves where I learned to drive and spent hours just cruising on my bike with my walkman and MxPx, Value Pac or Supertones CDs? It could easily be any of the beaches in Carpinteria or Ventura, where I was so stoked to sit for hours with friends and watch our kids fight, play, eat sand, nearly drown, beg for snacks and show off their muscles.
California is pretty easy to miss sometimes.
My memory is good enough, though, that I can remember having these same feelings of homesickness in all of those glittering, fun, friend-filled and sunshiny tan times. And I think I'm finally starting to get it- none of those places are home for me.
The more I walk with Jesus, the more I long for home. The home that He created me for- the home that He created you for. And I begin to understand just a little more why Paul tells us to comfort each other by talking about Jesus' return- how He's coming back for us, and the people we've had to say good-bye to on this earth will be there. And we'll have an eternity together with the Creator of and the Redeemer of our souls, "and thus we shall always be with the Lord." (I Thes. 5:17)
Yeah, that's pretty comforting. Like my soul just sighed with relief.
I begin to identify just a little more clearly with Abraham, who "went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country... for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and Maker is God." (Hebrews 11:8-10) Like Abraham, I'm waiting for a city of promise. (Rev. 21)
Maybe I'm not the only one who's homesick today.
Maybe you can be homesick even if you've lived in the same place for your entire life.
And maybe in this brief snatch of nap time quiet I can remind you of your home. Read it. Like for real read it- not like "I've read this a billion times for my devotions" read it; like "this is your home" read it.
"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of the street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there; they need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever."
(Revelation 22: 1-5.) (also Revelation 21 if you want to get gnarly.)
About a year ago Ricky and I bought our house. It was built from the ground up for us, we even got to pick the cul-de-sac and lot that it sits on- we poured over floor plans and colors, recessed lighting and where the light switches should go. We thought about countertops and flooring; ceiling fans and paint colors. We knew our home before we ever moved in. We loved driving by and taking pictures to post on facebook on Sunday afternoons; I joked about dreaming of our awesome new kitchen sink.
I wish I thought about my heavenly home in the same way.
To consider how God's plan from the very beginning of time is going to be my reality, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God." (Rev. 21:3) How the Lamb of God and the Lion of the tribe of Judah Himself will wipe away every tear; how we get to experience a home with no more death, sorrow, crying or pain- for eternity.
That's my home. That's my King. When my soul and my heart have had their fill of grief and sorrow, when I don't know what to do but cry about injustice- I need to remember my home. And my King.
Maybe I'm not the only homesick kid whose heart needs that stirring up to remember the One who we worship. The One in Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4 who's surrounded by seraphim crying to one another "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is filled with His glory!" The first and the last, He who lives and was dead, and is alive forevermore- the One who has the keys of Hades and Death. Jesus.
Maybe someone else out there has a heart that cries out with the psalmist in psalm 130:5-6:
"I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
And in His word do I hope.
My soul waits for the LORD more than those who watch for the morning-
yes more than those who watch in the morning."
It's okay to be homesick. I think we're supposed to be. As long as we remember home.