Back in September I began taking a Bible Doctrine Class. The class was 2 semesters and I finished my final class last week. The second half of the course we went through many different topics from Angels and demons to the power of the church. The classs ended appropriately with talking about “last things” We spent a few weeks on the return of Christ, Heaven and hell, and the New Heavens and the New Earth. At the end of each section we have a reflection paper that we have to write that looks back at what we feel really impacted us on the topic we were discussing. As I sat down to write my paper, reflecting on the last things, the overwhelming feeling I had and the theme of my paper was “longing for home.”
For so much of my Christian life, I was not very eager at the thought of the return of Jesus. I thought more about all the things that I wanted to do in this life. When I was younger it was get married as I was married and had kids it was watch my kids grow up and grow old with my husband, become a grandparent, you get the picture. However, when my world came crashing down around me, when I found everything that I had tried to build my life upon ripped away suddenly, when I ended up down in a lonely dark pit, it was then that I found what my life was really built upon. Down in that deep, dark, pit of sorrow, Jesus met me. I hadn’t hit “rock bottom” I had landed in the arms of my savior. As He carried me out of that pit, in that moment, He became my everything.
From that day on, Jesus has become the focus of my life in a way He never was before. I saw that this world and all it has is nothing compared to life with Him. The funny thing was it was’t just my heart that cried “Come Lord Jesus” I saw the same thing in the hearts of my children. Many times, as we would talk about things, I would hear them say, “I wish Jesus would come back.” Or before they went to bed, they would say, “maybe Jesus will come back tonight.” When our lives seemed completely hopeless, we realized where our hope truly lies. Our hope lies in the fact that our future is secure. Our hope lies in the fact that even when this life hands us hardship, when things seem out of control, they are never out of God’s control and our true hope lies in the fact that one day Jesus will return and He will make everything new. He will set everything right. No longer will there be death, or tears, or hunger, or sadness or covenant breaking divorce.
At the same time as doing this course, I was finishing up reading the entire Bible using the Bible in a Year devotional by Nicky Gumbel on the YouVersion App. One of the things he referenced as we read through Revelation was a quote by Bishop Leslie Newbigin. It stated:
‘The horizon of the Christian is “He shall come again” and “We look for the coming of the Lord” It can be tomorrow or anytime but that is the horizon. That horizon for me is fundamental, and that is what makes it possible to be hopeful and therefore to find life meaningful‘ Bishop Leslie Newbigin via Nicky Gumbel
To me that statement sums up much of how I feel. My eyes are on the horizon, looking for the return of Jesus! Some people may think this sounds morbid, or fanatical. Maybe you think it sounds sad, thinking that we don’t enjoy our life and are wishing it away. Nothing could be further from the truth. We enjoy this life to the fullest. We are thankful for each day we get. But, we have come to realize that this life is just a shadow and our true home is with Jesus. The hurt and pain that this life brings only serves to catapult us into a deeper longing for home, a deeper longing for Jesus!
As I studied about the return of Christ and specifically about the New Heavens and the New Earth it made me further long for that glorious day. The thought of getting to walk with Jesus in a tangible way, to physically see Him, to audibly hear His voice speaking to me. Oh how I long for that day. To see everything as God created it to be before sin reared it’s destructive head. To live forever, in the presence of God, to have a new glorified body free of the toils of aging and sickness. To be at peace, true, unbroken peace. Oh how I long for home! Come Lord Jesus, Come!