Longings are often ascribed to schoolgirls, the heroines of love stories or weepy women, but if we were honest, we all have em. And all of us, underscore all of us, are aware that the world has kinda spun off its axis.
Looking up at the night sky, I suddenly remember . . . this world is not my home. And truly, I long for something more.
“If you find yourself with a desire that no experience in this world
can satisfy, then the most probable explanation is that you were made for another world.” C.S. Lewis. Brilliant.
I am encouraged by the fact that those who were commended for their great faith in Hebrews 11, are also noted to have been '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.1
Yes, that’s just it! We were made for a better country, and made to be with God. ‘We are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior’, Paul said.2 Resident aliens, you see? While we have glimpses of Glory to be sure, true joy and longings fulfilled will only come when we are in the eternal presence of God.
John wrote about “a new heaven and a new earth,” where God’s dwelling place is among the people, when we will be his people, and he will be our God. ‘He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”3 Oh, and there is so much more in Revelation 21.
In the meantime, Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.4
And until we enter our eternal glory, let’s live fully for the Lord. “We each have one life, but this life has eternal significance. What we do in this one life has infinite implications, and beyond that, our stories are bigger than history. Our stories don’t end when we do. They are only the beginning of much greater stories, the content of which we are completely unaware… most of us underestimate how much God actually wants to do in our lives and through our lives.”5
Oh, and one more thing . . . in the time between now and our individual entrance into Heaven, we love fully because God loved us first. And because
in loving, we are most like God.
As Christ followers, it is so important that we express our love for others.
Paul is a man’s man, yet I am always so undone by his open affection for his Christian brothers and sisters. I’m quite sure neither the ‘Marlboro Man’ nor ‘the most interesting man in the world’, would have expressed themselves the way he did: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown…”6 All of us are the beneficiaries of this man of God who loved and loved well. Let’s learn from his example, shall we?
And yes, it is true. Our longings point us home,
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;
then we shall see face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall know fully,
even as I am fully known.7
And then, we shall be satisfied . . . our longings fulfilled. We will be home.
1 – Hebrews 11.16
2 – Philippians 3.20
3 – Revelation 21.1-4
4 – Hebrews 12.2
5 – The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life, Erwin Raphael McManus
6 - Philippians 4.1
7 – 1 Corinthian 13.12