As a 24-year-old single woman who lives 1,200 miles from her family, I know all about relationships sustained on texting and FaceTime. Birthdays and family events usually mean making a call and getting passed around on the screen so I don’t feel as though I missed anything — and usually that seems like enough.
It wasn’t until this week when I was packing to go home for my sister’s wedding that I realized how excited I was to see everyone face to face. As advanced as technology has become, there’s just no substitute for a real-life hug and looking someone in the eye while talking to them.
Home Away from Home
As I thought about it, I realized that reuniting with family is such a good picture of our destiny in heaven. Right now, as Christians in the world, we are in a foreign land. Sometimes we long for the comfort of the place where we are fully known and fully loved. But for now, we must settle with hearing the voice of God over the miles between us and our eternal home.
We see dimly the beauty of His character. We feel His presence to an extent. But someday, when we go home to the marriage supper of the Lamb, we will behold His face. Our eyes will meet all the depths of His, and our souls will feel the warmth of His mighty embrace.
In 1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV) it says, “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
For me, that’s encouraging, because it’s a reminder that there is more than what I see right here and now. It reminds me that it’s OK to feel longing for more in this life, because this is not where I ultimately belong.
Made for More
We were created for communion with God in a very real and physical sense. We were made to be loved and to love. We have been destined for a future that is only good, one in which pain is nothing but a memory and every fear a conquered victory. No more fighting. No more loss.
With a homeland like that grafted onto our hearts, it’s no wonder that life here in this broken universe sometimes feels a bit lacking. We are homesick for a place we’ve never experienced, a place that beckons to the very nature of who we long to be.
The best we can do until we finally become citizens in that glorious place is reflect our eternal home here on earth — much in the same way I reflect my DNA and upbringing from my Indiana family while I’m here in Colorado among people who do not know them. I still find myself using the same recipes my mom used to make, and cheering for the same sports teams my family cheers for (Go Notre Dame!), even though I am away.
We can also reflect our relationship to Christ in the way we live our lives here, away from Him. For example, building relationships and community that mirror the ones we will someday have in heaven — free from grudges, serving one another — that’s one way to bring a piece of our eternal destiny to our temporary home. We can cheer for the things God cheers for, and flee from the things He detests. We can live like He taught us.
Someday, every one of us will see God’s physical face. We will finally be home. Let that challenge us to avoid focusing all our hope in the temporary home we have here on earth. And rather, let us strive to live a life worthy of the majestic, unchanging, permanent dwelling we will have for all of eternity with the Almighty, all-powerful Creator of everything.
Ashley Mazelin is a publicist at Focus on the Family. She originally hails from northern Indiana and graduated from Grace College with a degree in Journalism in 2013. In her free time she likes drinking coffee, exploring the Rocky Mountains and reading interesting books.