There are some things we just can't avoid in this life: suffering, hardship, adversity, and death. No matter what we do, we will all face these things at one point or another in this life. February was a month of reminders of the inevitability of these things. Maybe it's just because I'm more aware of it currently, but I keep finding that so many people are suffering. Suffering through illnesses, suffering through the death of loved ones, suffering through depression, you name it. And people are dying. My neighbor from home, a friend's friend, a friend's grandparent, and a church member. So much death.
I spent most of February walking through my own suffering and anxiety and fears, and I'm not through the valley quite yet. The Lord is still teaching me a lot through it, but one thing He has been pressing into my heart is that we're all longing for home, for eternity with the Lord.
Home. It creates a lot of mental images in our minds. Some good and some bad. When I think of home, I think of a place of comfort, rest, and peace. A place where I am free to be myself, and where the troubles of life are forgotten. But while we might experience glimpses of this feeling in this life, there is a hope of a better home, where the troubles of life will truly be forgotten. In light of suffering and fears, heaven has grown in the forefront of my mind and it's truly the home that our souls are all longing for, but it comes only from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
I'll never forget the first time I learned that what makes heaven "heaven" is being reunited and reconciled with God and getting to be with him in His Kingdom for the rest of eternity. It was while watching The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader when Aslan, who represents Jesus, tells Reepicheep that he will get to be in Aslan's country for all of eternity. I watched Reepicheep sail across the sea into Aslan's country, knowing in my heart that that's where I wanted to be. I wanted to be in God's country and kingdom, and the way is through a relationship with Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
The Lord gives us a lot of glimpses of heaven, of home. A worship song, encouraging fellowship, a beautiful day, sweet friendships, a wedding feast, and times of intimate prayer. Our hearts were made for that world, to be in perfect relationship with our Maker, but splashes of hell often cloud our vision. We experience pain, suffering, and broken relationships. We don't walk with God or follow Jesus. We give in to sin. But there is hope, and Paul says it so eloquently when he writes to the church in Corinth:
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
Paul says it better than I could ever say it. Home. Are you longing for it? If we are in Jesus Christ, we will one day be at home with the Lord and the pain and struggles of this life will be a forgotten memory. So be of good courage as you long to be at home with the Lord.
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She Laughs Without Fear