Homesickness—something we all have probably experienced at one time or another. Though there is no scientific or medical treatment for this sickness, it is one of the most challenging ailments to overcome. Why is it that we can struggle so much with this condition? In many ways, homesickness feeds off the love we have for our families, the longing for laughter and connection that is unique and special to those nearest to us. When we are away from those we love, there is an overwhelming longing to be back where we belong. We wish to be back in our own bed or in that comfy chair in the living room or just surrounded by those who love us. There is no feeling quite like the desire to go home.
When we think about the concept of homesickness, we attach it to a place that we have been to before. However, can we ever be homesick for a place we have never even seen? As Christians, the answer should be yes. In Hebrews 11, often considered the “Hall of Faith or Faithfulness,” the writer takes a short aside to explain something significant about these great individuals of faith. He writes, “All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own…But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared for them a city” (11:13-16 NASB). Note the terms and descriptions he uses here. Individuals like Abraham, Sarah, and those mentioned in the chapter “confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.” They knew that this world was not their forever home, so they lived in a way that reflected their true citizenship. They serve as examples of those who “are seeking a country of their own” and “desire a better country.” They awaited the time when they could be where they truly belong—a place not made with human hands but one made by the Living God. They were, in fact, homesick for Heaven.
What is said of these great people of faithfulness can be said of us as well. We are inhabitants of this world, but this world should not be what we consider home. Our desire should be to reach that eternal home that God has prepared for us. However, the question for us is, are we living in a way that proves we are not of this world? Can the people around us see that we live in a way that reflects where we truly belong? The examples that have come before us are both an encouragement and challenge to continue on in faithfulness to God in every aspect of our lives. From the time we wake up in the morning to the time we go to sleep at night, our goal should be to live faithfully to the Lord, trusting in His word and His promises toward us. The way we handle ourselves in day-to-day situations, the choices we make, and the things that we do all should display our desire to be with our Father. Each and every day, let us strive to be homesick for Heaven.