Have you ever been homesick?
This is the question that Father Trevor asked last week at mass. The reading was from John 14 and Jesus is telling his disciples that he is going to the Father and if they knew and believed, they would be rejoicing that Jesus would soon be with God.
Fr. Trevor spoke of his time studying in Italy and how homesick the holidays made him, especially Thanksgiving, which is not a celebrated in other countries. And how, even though a Thanksgiving celebration was prepared for every American that wanted to attend, it only made him feel worse and miss his family more.
I remember several years ago, when I was teaching Sunday School at Blue Grass UMC, we were talking about Jesus and if he longed to be back in Heaven, back to the peace and serenity of the Father’s presence. I told the group that late at night, when I’m up by myself, reading or studying the Bible, I’m sometimes overcome by feeling homesick, longing to be with God. I get such a sense of peace when I pray or spend time in God’s word that I wish I had that feeling with me all the time instead of letting the world seep back in and control my emotions.
One of the older ladies was so disturbed by that statement that she went to our pastor and told him that I was suicidal. Wow…either I blew it by not expressing my emotions correctly or she totally missed the point. As my husband Jim puts it, “If our goal is not to be with the Father forever, than what is the point of all of this?”
I love my life. I mean, if it weren’t for the migraines, I couldn’t imagine anything or anywhere I’d rather have or be. I am truly content and even though there are days, sometimes many in a row, where my greatest accomplishment is to get the bed made before Jim comes home from work, I still able to contribute to my household, my community and in a sense, through my writing, my world.
Does that mean I’m happy every moment? Of course not! By I do have a deep feeling of peace with my life that comes from prayer and study of God’s word. And through that, I know that one day, the evils of this world will fade and I will be in His presence forever. And that, in my opinion, is what the point is. My life, my family, my friends…everything I surround myself with…they are just a glimpse of something better to come. And the great thing is, when this life is over, I can still have all of them with me.
Do I get homesick…you bet I do! For Christ’s presence…for loved ones who have gone on before me…for peace and tranquility. But I have the assurance of Christ that He has a place prepared for me and that one day, in His time, I will be with him forever. Until then, I try to enjoy each day as best as I can and share with those around me that peace that comes from Him.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ ~John 14
The video link below is to Mercy Me’s “Homesick” a song they wrote after the band members suffered the deaths of numerous family members and friends in a short period of time. The words really hit me hard at a time in my life I needed it most.