When I was in graduate school, one of my areas of interest was homesickness. I was often surprised at the lack of journal articles and research in this area of psychology. Humans often suffer from homesickness, and it is on a continuum; from mild to severe.
I, as a Christian on this earth, suffer from another type of homesickness as well. This homesickness isn’t because I’ve dwelt in a physical location for a long period of time, storing memories there, interacting with loved ones. No, this homesickness is different because I’m homesick for a place I’ve not been to yet…and I know for a fact that I am not alone in this homesickness.
Michelle Tumes, in her wonderful song Untame Lion, sings: “I’m filled with longing for a place; A place I’ve never seen…” Does this homesickness have scriptural basis? Certainly.
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
We know that Christ is preparing a place for us, and will someday come and get us (hopefully soon). If we arrive via death or rapture it makes no difference. This is why we are instructed to store up “possessions” in heaven, and let our hearts be there as well. This earth isn’t our home.
Are we to function in the world, doing God’s will? Absolutely. We were also originally meant to be caretakers, in some form, of His creation; so us longing for our heavenly home does mean we should destroy this one. But, it does mean we should have the idea of our heavenly home in our minds, and remember it. We do not belong here.
We are to be about God’s business in our lives, which will be different from believer to believer. We are to see to our earthly responsibilities; but always remember, this is only the beginning. For those of us who place our trust in Christ, there is a far far better world that awaits. Be of good courage! No matter what befalls us here, and things can get really hairy really fast, but no matter what; better times are coming.
If anyone reading this has yet to read the Chronicles of Narnia, by CS Lewis, you really should. Here is a quote from The Last Battle; the analogy is how I believe we will feel about this “old” earth and our old dwelling place, when we finally get to behold our new home:
The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can’t describe it any better than that: if ever you get there you will know what I mean.
It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then he cried: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that is sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!”
And, for an extra; Here is Michelle Tume’s Untame Lion used in a YouTube vid featuring clips from Narnia (and yes, if anyone is wondering, she was inspired to write the song based on Aslan, who of course is a picture of Jesus). This vid was put together by scipio28cato34.