Are You Homesick for Heaven?
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“I’m homesick for heaven!” complained my friend who lived in a local nursing home.
Whenever I asked her how she was doing, her response was always the same. Perhaps she meant she was tired of the physical body that eventually becomes a burden and she was ready to go on to something better. Physical death for Christians holds the promise of a new, perfect body in heaven where we will live eternally with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I've heard it said that each of us has a hole in the heart that only God can fill. That hole can never be filled completely until we are in our eternal home with the Lord.
My mother-in-law passed away when she was 88. She outlived her husband by two years, and all of her siblings and close friends had passed away. She was the last surviving member of her generation. She often said, “Holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries are hard because it brings back so many memories of loved ones who are gone.”
As a testament to her feelings, we found her tattered address book after she died with most of the names crossed out.
On the day she died, she was in the hospital recovering from a heart attack. She expected to come home that day; in fact, I was waiting for a phone call from the doctor telling me she was released. Instead, I got the unexpected phone call that she died suddenly.
Our family went to the hospital and gathered around her bed. The nurse who was with her when she died told us her last words were these: “My husband died two years ago. I’m so lonesome and tired. I’m ready to go home.”
She didn’t say it in so many words, but she, too, was homesick for heaven.
The Apostle Paul wrote these words about our heavenly dwelling place:
"For we know that if the earthly tent [physical body] 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 instead with our heavenly dwelling."(NIV)
And who puts that desire in our hearts? Paul answers:
"Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight."(NIV)
God designed us to be homesick for heaven. We will never be completely at peace until we share eternal life with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Excerpt from God in the Midst of Grief, Copyright © 2011 by Diane Pearson, used with permission.
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