We’d planned this day weeks ago – a trip to the city of our state capital to watch the Michigan State Spartans take on the Iowa Hawkeyes.
We are fortunate to have friends who have season tickets and we usually go at least once during the football season. The usual plan is to tailgate before the game and then head into the stadium to watch our Spartans win! (At least we hope that will be the case.)
But this day was like none other we’d ever experienced at the Spartan Stadium. The skies were a dull gray, it was raining buckets and the temperature was knocking on the door of forty degrees! We had foregone the idea of tailgating (which made me extremely happy) and opted for a warm dry restaurant to eat breakfast and leisurely discuss the upcoming game.
Much to my heart’s delight, it decided to quit raining about half way through the first quarter of the game but the bitter cold did not diminish in the least. As the game wound on it seemed to get colder by the second and by the last quarter of the game it began to pour.
(I have a question. Why do we put ourselves through such misery just to watch a bunch of guys run around on a field and chase a ball? It’s nuts?!)
I had a poncho on but it began to rain so hard that it was soon soaked and the water began to seep into my clothing. Before long my jeans were so wet that I felt like I could wring them out. I couldn’t feel my feet any longer and I began to long for home, like I’ve never longed for it before. I wanted a hot shower and dry clothes, like a starving dog wants a bone. It seemed like ages since I’d left that warm beautiful dry place called home.
I began to fantasize about what it would be like to get out of my wet clothes and into a hot shower. I imagined putting on my nice dry sweat pants and comfy sweatshirt and curling up with a blanket on the couch with a steaming cup of my favorite tea. Oh, how I longed for home but it was many hours before I actually got there.
I often find myself longing for my heavenly home, like I longed for my physical home. Do you?
I long for my true home . . .
. . . when I struggle in my relationship with God.
. . . when fear has its powerful hold on my life and won’t seem to let go.
. . . when I see evil people prospering and godly people struggling.
. . . when a friend betrays me.
. . . when the pain is too difficult to bear.
. . . when I see a vibrant young father, struck down with cancer.
And I imagine what it will be like to no longer struggle with sin and self-centeredness. I wonder what it will be like to see my Savior face to face, to touch his nail-scarred hands, to feel His arms of protection around me. I fantasize about seeing loved ones who have gone before me and I anxiously await the day when there will be no more sorrow and no more tears. I long to go home. . .
I’m not the only one who is longing for home.
Paul speaks of this longing in Romans 8:20-23 (NLT) But with eager hope, creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
One day, heaven will be our reality. One day, we will step into the arms of Jesus. One day, all the things we have been longing for will come true and so much more. I can’t wait, can you?