Journey to the Cross - Day 9 - Homesick For Heaven
Pocket Full of Easter
Journey to The Cross 2006
Day 9: Homesick For Heaven
Have you ever had a day where you were restless for no apparent reason? “What’s wrong with me?” you ask. “Everything seems fine and yet I’m jumpy.” Perhaps you are homesick for heaven. This world is not our home and we will never be completely at ease in it.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:1
2 Corinthians 5:1 NIV
Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
• Even as our “earthly tents” are being destroyed, our “eternal house” is being prepared. Bask in the security in that promise.
• Notice the signs of aging in your “earthly tent” (or body) and anticipate the joy of your “eternal house.”
• Let yourself dream about your “eternal house” the way you would dream of a new earthly home.
• Imagine what a house built by God’s hands would look like.
• Praise God for sending His son so you can have a heavenly home.
• Pray for a glimpse of heaven.
• Tell God your joys, fears, and needs. Praise Him in everything.
• Pray for knowledge of God’s will for you today and the power to carry that out.
• Ask the Holy Spirit to interpret the scriptures you are about to read.
Morning Bible Study
Homesickness is a terrible feeling. When I was separated from my husband for the first time in our marriage, I missed him terribly. I was in Texas for a business conference. As I lay in bed, my heart cried for him. I called him but it wasn’t the same as being there. I was planning to go to Six Flags over Texas the next day but even the anticipation of that delight didn’t help. I groaned as I longed to be home and cuddled in my sweetheart’s arms.
Read 2 Corinthians 5:2.
2 Cor 5:2 NIV
Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling,
• Do you ever groan for something that seams unreachable?
• What does longing feel like?
Many report having had the common dream of being naked in a public place. I’ve had that dream and it was a nightmare for me and probably for the others in my dream. Such dreams leave us feeling exposed, humiliated, surprised, and ashamed. We wonder what we were thinking when we left home without our clothes. Sometimes, I’ve spent the entire dream searching for the elusive garments that would end my shame.
Is it any wonder we feel so restless on earth? We are missing our heavenly clothes. Like those nightmares, we spend much our life trying to find them. We feel naked to the seemingly random events of our life. We groan for heaven because we instinctively know we will not “be found naked” in heaven. Read 2 Corinthians 4:3-4.
2 Cor 5:3-4 NIV
Because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked.
• How will we feel when we finally reach our heavenly home?
Until we reach our heavenly home, we are doomed to groaning with the burdens of our earthly life. I’ve found that it helps me to identify these “groanings” as demonstrations of my homesickness for heaven.
Read the rest of 2 Corinthians 4:4.
2 Cor 5:4 NIV
For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
• What are we to expect while on earth?
• What is it we truly desire?
• What do you think it means when it says “what is mortal is swallowed up by life.”
With a heavenly perspective, we can replace the tears of death with the radiance of heaven. The pain in our body becomes the anticipation of our dancing in heaven. The tragedies of our life become insignificant in comparison to the timeless perfection of life with Christ. The promise of our heavenly life swallows up our mortal disappointments.
So how do we remember to keep a heavenly perspective the next time we feel like we are standing naked to the world? Read 2 Corinthians 5:5.
2 Corinthians 5:5 NIV
Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
• What did Jesus leave as a deposit?
• What was the deposit a guarantee for?
Have you ever wondered if Jesus was homesick for heaven? After all, He’d left paradise to visit a place where people didn’t even know His name. Throughout His life, God gave Him glimpses of the home He had left. Read Luke 3:21-22.
Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased." NASU
• How do you think Jesus felt when heaven was briefly opened?
• What do you think it was like to have the Holy Spirit land as dove on His shoulder?
• What must the affirming words from His Father have felt like, after walking the hot dusty trails of earth?
When Jesus ascended to heaven, He left us a “deposit” on earth – the same Holy Spirit that had landed on his shoulder. We remember our heavenly perspective by turning to our “guarantee.” Stand up straight with confidence. Look the petty earthly chaos in the eye and remind yourself that you have a guarantee. Breathe in the spirit of your deposit – the Holy Spirit and let yourself have a glimpse of heaven. Listen as your Heavenly Father says, “You are my beloved child. In you, I am well pleased.”
In 1975, Bob and I took in an abused and abandoned but beautiful and sweet 6-six-year old little boy. For a few precious years, he thrived, but at age 13, his life began to fall apart. Our adopted son David died of AIDS in 1995, after living a tortured self-indulgent life.
A year before he died, standing on a mountaintop, staring out at the churning blue waters of Maui, David found God. With the wind blowing on his face, he faced the futility of his life. On one side of the mountain, he could see the decadence of the secluded homosexual beach he had just left. On the other side, he watched innocent children splashing on the beach of a popular state park. These happy families were oblivious to the unspeakable activities happening on the other side of the cliff.
“It was as if I could see my two choices,” he later said. “There was sin on one side and innocence on the other. God gave me a vision of heaven and I wanted it.” David fell to his knees, salty tears mingling with the salt air and cried his prayer. “God, help me,” he begged. “I’ve wasted my life.” The grace of God entered him like a dove landing on his shoulder and he said he felt clean for the first time in his life.
David climbed down the mountain and called home for the first time in years. It was the middle of the night in Jacksonville, Florida and I struggled to grasp the meaning of his words. “Mama, I have seen God and He’s forgiven me,” he said in a gush of nervous energy. “I’m dying but I’m not afraid. My t-cell count is 0 but God has shown me where I’m going. I love you and wanted you to know what happened to me.”
That night, David checked into a treatment center and dealt with his alcohol, drug, and sex addiction. “I want to die sober,” he said. We had a good year together before David went to his eternal home on June 8, 1995.
One night, shortly before his death, David’s fever escalated and he was in pain. He called home for comfort and I panicked. “David, call the doctor immediately! Maybe he can do something for you.”
“Mama, you have to remember that I’m going to die, probably sooner rather than later. I hurt but I’m not afraid because I’ve seen where I am going. I don’t want you to be afraid either because God has prepared a place for me.” In that one conversation, David passed his heavenly perspective to me and I calmed down. As I later scattered his ashes on that same mountain where he found God, I understood God’s words, “This is my beloved son. In you, I am well pleased.” God’s grace to David had extended to my heart and I was able to forgive my son for taking himself away from me.
Are you homesick for heaven today? Is life getting you down? Are you struggling with weariness, grief, pain, or fear? Remember that the cross points to heaven. Because of the grace of the cross, we have a guarantee of a heavenly home. Turn to your deposit - the Holy Spirit, and let His presence give you a glimpse of the place that is your eternal home.