What Lies Beneath Longings?
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt
...they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. —Hebrews 11:16
Somewhere, a soldier on the other side of the world longs for his family.
Somewhere, an 89-year old man aches with loneliness, having outlived his wife, family and friends.
Somewhere, a woman struggling with disease, longs for her old self and grieves that her life will never be the same again.
Some years ago, having lived in the greater-Boston area for 14 years, my wife, Jenny, and I packed up our belongings and moved back to our native state of Washington. Since returning, we have reconnected with old friends and made some wonderful new ones. Still, years later, there remains an ache for our old comfortable surroundings and the friends and places we’ve left behind—all of the things we most closely associated with “home.”
Do the longings mentioned above have anything in common with one another? It’s normal for people to long for those things they no longer can enjoy. Longings represent desires that are unmet in our lives. But what lies beneath our longings?
At a deeper level, longings reflect a God-given desires for Him—to be in His presence—at home in heaven. We long for a perfect existence where all of our desires are met and where we’ll experience the wholeness that none of us will find this side of heaven. We long for our real home.
There probably aren’t many of us who actually long to leave this life in order to head for heaven. I know that I don’t! Most love the gift of life God has given to us! Most of us have enough quality of life here on this earth to want to continue living. Still, the Scriptures clearly convey that this world is not our home. We are only visiting here for a time. We are to live this life with mission in mind: To love and serve God—and others.
The next time you notice a longing for something beautiful like the company of a faraway friend, or wishing for a triple-scoop ice cream cone on a hot summer day, or dreaming of a wonderful moment from your past and wishing you could relive that moment once again, take a moment to reflect.
Be reminded that you are actually longing for your real home, your heavenly home. And with a grateful heart as God’s child, let Him know how much you appreciate the certainty that one day, He will welcome you home at last.
1. Evaluate your longings. Which of these most likely represent a longing in your soul for your home in heaven?
2. Today, intentionally look for other reminders that your “citizenship is in heaven.”