God has blessed me with two wonderful children who have grown to be adults way too fast. Recently, both children, young adults, left the house and moved a considerable distance from home. One moved to Florida and the other to Alaska. Not only are these places at opposite ends of our nation, but also they have completely different weather. Anyhow, my daughter left the airport with tears in her eyes, and my son called the other day and was a little choked up as he said, “Dad, I miss home.” Both of these moments immediately took me back many years when I left home and went to Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois. I remember getting on the plane excited, nervous, and scared. There were many days during recruit training that I wanted to go home. I would look through the fence and see the train going by heading to Chicago, and I would think, “Maybe I could climb the fence, get on the train, and no one would notice.” Of course, it would only take a moment for reality to settle back in as my eye would catch the ever vigilant company commander.
Homesickness is a natural process of leaving home. The longing for the familiar surroundings with family and friends is something that most young people leaving home must go through, but all of this made me think about Heaven. Paul reminds us as Christians we are citizens of Heaven, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 3:20) and as such we should be longing for home. As one hymn-writer put it, “I’m kind of homesick for a country to which I’ve never been before.” It is true that we as Christians can really become homesick for our home to which we never have been. The Apostle Paul expressed his homesickness for Heaven when he wrote in II Corinthians 5:8, “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” I pray that we would be so in love with Jesus and walk in such sweet fellowship with Him that we would have the same homesickness for Heaven that Paul had.
Although both of my children are homesick, I encourage them to stay the course. It would do them no good to give into the homesickness. Enduring the pain of separation will only make them stronger and more prepared for the future God has for them. So it is with us Christian, although we ma desire to be with Christ in Heaven, we cannot just give up and stand idly by waiting for His return. Our Savior has left us here as ambassadors of Heaven, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God,” (II Corinthians 5:20). As ambassadors we have a responsibility to occupy till He comes. So while it is good to think of home once in a while, let us serve the Lord while it is yet day. Be faithful, and when we do finally go Home, we will hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Pastor Jim Kohr