Have you ever been really homesick? When we’re traveling someplace far away from loved ones—even if we’re traveling for good reasons—it’s totally understandable that we miss our friends and family. God created us with a need for community with Him and other people. That’s why Jesus said the two most important things He wants us to do are to love Him and other people (Matthew 22:36-40). But in our broken world, sometimes loving others means we feel the pain of being apart from them.
In a way, all Christians are homesick…because our home is with Jesus. Even though He is always with us—and He is present in our lives here and now through His Spirit, His Word (the Bible), and His people (the church)—we can’t see Him face-to-face. But one day we will, either when we die or when He returns and restores all of creation. On that day, everyone who knows Jesus will get to live with Him together, and we will never be homesick again.
As we continue to live in our world that’s broken by sin, we long to be with God—and His people—the way He intended, without all the effects of our sin wreaking havoc. Separation is one of the effects of sin. Even if we don’t have to physically travel away from the people we love, we will eventually be separated from them, either when we die or when they do.
Death is the ultimate effect of sin, but Jesus defeated death when He let Himself be put to death on the cross… and then rose from the grave. Without Jesus, we are all separated from God. But if we’ve put our trust in Jesus, we’ve been brought near to God and become part of His family. Whenever we experience hard things like homesickness and death, Jesus comforts us. He knows firsthand what it’s like to be separated from the people you love. And He reminds us that we get to look forward to the day we will finally be home with Him and God’s whole family forever. That’s real hope we can cling to even in our most homesick moments. • A. W. Smith
• Have you ever felt homesick for Jesus? As Christians, it’s hard to understand the mystery of how we can be with Jesus here and now, and yet still long for the day we’ll see Him face-to-face. Can you think of a time you felt Jesus’s nearness and love? If you’ve never experienced this, you can ask God to reveal His nearness and love to you anytime—He delights in answering these prayers.
• What are you most looking forward to about Jesus coming back? What questions do you have?
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people!” Revelation 21:3a (NLT)