My son is coming home, not just for the summer, but for good. After spending his freshman year of college in Texas, he is transferring in-state and will be less than an hour away. It’s been a long, trying year that challenged and changed him.
I was thinking about his pending return as I awoke today, filled with anticipation and joy. Then I read my scripture passage for the morning, 2 Corinthians 5:
Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last forever. While we are here on earth we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home.
I was struck by the parallels between my son’s journey and our journeys through life. He thought going to school in Texas would be like going home because he spent most of his childhood in Texas.
We live here convinced that we are home, yet from the moment we arrive something deep inside reminds us we are not where we belong. For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. (Hebrews 13:14) We live with an often intangible yearning, a desire for a respite from the burdens of this world, some our making (Running on Empty), others falling rocks in a fallen world.
These tents we now live in are like a heavy burden, and we groan.
By working to do his best, even under less than the best circumstances, our son learned perseverance, endurance and a healthy longing for home. God knows what we’re going through and He loves us. Yet His focus usually is on changing us rather than our circumstance.
But we don’t do this just because we want to leave these bodies that will die. It is because we want to change them for bodies that will never die.
As I anticipated what it would look and feel like to see my son again at the airport I imagined what we must look like in God’s eyes when we finally return home, haggard, worn, bearing little resemblance to the innocent children we were when this all began. Even so, we will radiate with the joy of knowing that we are home at last.
This hope and promise carry us through the difficult days with patient endurance, and through God’s grace, joy.
God is the one who makes all of this possible. He has given us his Spirit to make us certain that he will do it. So always be cheerful!
If our son simply had passed time until he could come home he would have missed many opportunities for blessings. Instead he worked diligently every minute of every day — he had the crowded calendar to prove it — and returns home stronger, wiser and with the august mantle of adulthood upon his shoulders.
Similarly, if we only pass the time as we journey through this world we will miss out on many blessings. His kingdom is not a remote, future thing only; it starts now:
As long as we are in these bodies, we are away from the Lord. But we live by faith, not by what we see. We should be cheerful, because we would rather leave these bodies and be at home with the Lord. But whether we are at home with the Lord or away from him, we still try our best to please him.
- Do you view your present struggles as burden or blessing?
- Where do you see God working in your most painful circumstances for good?
- Ask God to infuse joy and peace into your day, right here, right now.
- How will you seek to please God today?