“Beulah land, I’m longing for you.”
“I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”
He tells me I’m young. I have a life to live. But what is that life in light of Heaven? I’ve never been oh so ready to meet my maker, to rest easy–like Bilbo in Rivendell–to be at peace. “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” I stay for the people. I love them. They need Jesus. I stay to “go ye therefore and make disciples…” To love them as He has loved me. Caring so much means my heart is torn out over and over again. I can’t save them, and they choose destructively often. But I stay. To love is to be as Christ to the people. But I fervently yearn to go. Maybe God will take me early. I’m homesick for Heaven; I’m ready to fly away “like a bird from these prison walls.” I am not afraid of death, no, I am ready.
Maybe saying that makes me apathetic or depressed. I would say it just makes me world worn. The monotonous repetitiveness of life drains me sometimes. I work every day for money I hardly care about. Everything repeats–large and small–there is nothing new under the sun. All is vanity. We are ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Who and what we are in between is complex and incomprehensible. Worldviews shaped by lives. Lives shaped by the choices of so very many people. Just when I think I finally understand someone in comes a new facet I had totally missed…
I think we fear death too much in the church today. Look back to the old songs and you catch that yearning for Heaven. Today we are entirely caught up in surviving and thriving and worshiping in the now. Which isn’t wrong entirely, but…the pleasures on this earth are merely appetizers, foretastes of the pleasure of Heaven. We devour them and chase them and still feel lack. At least, I do. We weren’t meant to live for the now. We were meant to live for the hope of then. To store our hope, our treasure in Heaven, for if our heart is there moth and rust cannot destroy and the thieves cannot break in and steal. If my hope is in that grand afterlife nothing and no one can take it from me. I like what C. S. Lewis said: “If I find myself with desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” Yes. The best of times here are echoes of what is to come.
I am ready to leave, but as I wait I’m going to invite as many of the lonely, broken people to come to my Father’s house with me as I can. I don’t force it down throats. But I try to live as His child. I try to show them why. And in a way, each day I say “Wait a little longer please Jesus. Just a few more days to get [my] loved ones in.” But sometimes I resonate much more with Rich’s word: “It won’t break my heart to say goodbye.” I am torn between two worlds. I am a sojourner here. But I belong there…”This is my temporary home.” Are you ready? Are you torn also? Are you reaching people for the Kingdom? Are you ready and prepared to finally go home? Oh, what a glorious day that will be!