I will be traveling to my hometown with my family this week. The first time we have been there together in nine years. Pathetic, but true. I grew up in Washington state on the amazingly beautiful Whidbey Island. Before our children started school we flew out every winter because our business keeps us pretty well tied down in the summer time. This year everything has lined up just right and we are able to sneak away for a few days.
Home is a word that can conjure up so many thoughts, feelings and memories. The first few years I was living in Iowa, Washington was the home I longed for. I ached for my family and friends. There were no cell phones with free long distance back then, so an actual phone call was a rare treat! Iowa was totally foreign to me - too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter and nary a mountain in sight. However, over the years, my feelings changed and Iowa became home to me. I am sure part of that was due to raising my own family here. I clearly recall the trip back to Washington to visit and thinking, "I don't belong here anymore". Not that people were unkind or I wasn't happy to see my relatives, but my home was in Iowa. It was a bittersweet moment for me.
These two earthly map-points I have called home, aren't truly home at all. I would imagine you are familiar with the old hymn -- I am but a stranger here, heaven is my home? We are here merely a hand-breadth of time in comparison to eternity. Some days when the ugliness of the world is weighing heavily upon me I feel a keen longing for heaven, much like I longed for Washington when I first came to Iowa.
This earthly home is temporary as well. In the book of Revelation and in 2 Peter we are reminded of the changes to come. "But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness." (2 Peter 3:13) "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." (Rev 21:3-7). I don't know about you, but all that sounds pretty wonderful to me.
I am excited to visit my hometown this week, but I am also looking forward to the promised life in the world to come. I would love to hear what pulls your heart towards home.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the LORD Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
In His Peace -