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 85-year old man, who has outlived his wife and his friends, longs for the old days.
Somewhere, a woman struggling with disease, longs for her old self and grieves that her life will never be the same again.
A few years ago, having lived in the greater-Boston area for 14 years, my wife and I packed up our belongings and moved to the state of Washington. Washington is a beautiful state and we quite happily settled into our new surroundings. But, six months into our new life, there was 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 (for good things anyway) 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! Many of us love the gift that is our life! 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 have 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.
- Evaluate your longings. Which of these most likely represent a longing in your soul for your home in heaven?
- Today, intentionally look for other reminders that your “citizenship is in heaven.”
John 17:14-16; 2 Corinthians 5:1-10; Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 11:13-16