There are many things that I do not comprehend...an innocent child being diagnosed with cancer, people close to me having their marriages torn apart by selfishness and infidelity, a town of hard-working people whose homes are destroyed by tornadoes, a classmate losing her battle with depression...these do not make sense to me
If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. (John 15:19)
So, if I am In Christ, the world will hate me. Jesus spoke these words to his disciples, so if I am His disciple, this pertains to me too. Maybe that explains why I have this homesick feeling?! Don't get me wrong, there are many things in my life that I love: my fiancé's loving arms around me, my children's smiles and laughter, a jaw-dropping sunset, the roar of the ocean, the breathtaking majesty of God's complex creation. But, there is always an itch that I cannot scratch, a longing that nothing earthly will fulfill.
"If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probably explanation is...that we were made for another world." (C.S. Lewis)
I kind of have to laugh at the bumper stickers and line of clothing that says "Life is Good". One day, I am going to make one that says, "Life is Hard But God is Good". Do you think that would sell?
God lovingly gives us glimpses of Heaven. Postcards from Heaven, I call them.
The book of Ephesians talks a lot about our life in the "heavenly realms". Christians have already been made beneficiaries of every spiritual blessing that belongs to and comes from the heavenly realm. Grace, redemption, peace, forgiveness, love, to name a few. God has already bestowed upon us a piece of Heaven.
Sometimes I get so caught up in the trials and tribulations of this world that I lose my eternal perspective.
Erma Bombeck was famous for saying, "If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing here in the pits." Somewhere along the way we get the notion that life should be a bowl of cherries. Then when life throws something at us, a real curve ball, we are surprised and taken back. The Bible tells us, up front, that we will experience trouble.
In this world you will have tribulation, but take heart I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
God is a spoiler...He gives us the end of the story. Read it again, but take heart I have overcome the world! What a praise! We know, without a doubt, who wins in the end.
It's been a long time since I have been behind the lens of a camera, but one of my favorite shots was to make the forefront of the picture somewhat blurry and focus in sharply on my object of interest in the background. I was focused in on what was ahead instead of what was immediately under my nose.
In a similar way, God wants our eyes focused on the future joy that He has in store for us. In that day we will know for the first time, unpolluted joy!
So what can we take from our earthly trials and tribulations? How do we endure? We hold on tightly to God's righteous right hand and we profess:
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
What this says to me is not that God is making light of our very difficult struggles, but that in comparison to the glory that awaits us, they will then appear light and momentary.
Our tiny minds cannot even begin to grasp what our Loving Father has in store for us. I know Him just well enough to be certain that He will blow our socks off! He loves you so much and is with you in your troubles. He promises to never leave nor forsake you during your brief earthly journey and He will lovingly lead you into the place that He has prepared for you and scoop you up in His strong arms. He dearly loves you. That you can rely on.
I'll end this post with the lyrics of a song by the contemporary Christian group, Building 429:
"All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong."
God IS good! He has just made me, made you, for another world...
In His love,
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