Confession: After I hit the end of my rope and began to allow Him to pull me slowly back up, one of the things I found most confusing was what to do with the longing for heaven. Is it wrong? Am I now supposed to love life so much that I never yearn for anything better?
The earth is groaning. The saints are watching. The Spirit and the Bride say “Come.”
Those of you who are young and strong, full of the joie de vivre, may not grok the yearning. You may find it chafing. Or ridiculous. Or artificially conjured up. You have experienced it only in brief, fleeting moments of spiritual fervor–or temporary insanity.
But let’s not be too hard on the people (or songs) that hunger and thirst for heaven… even when they don’t say it right.
For those who are very old or very tired, it is more than a fleeting whim. It is a deep-seated ache, like the way Jews feel about Israel. “Next year in Jerusalem,” they say, and it’s more than a cute phrase. It embodies the yearning of generations, the need to return, the tie to a homeland.
It’s okay. It’s more than okay.
And it’s different from thumbing your nose at the earth on the way out–this earth He gave everything to reclaim, this earth He’s coming back to redeem.
We are not Buddhists who long for a disembodied-spirit nothingness. We do not yearn for annihilation, but for redemption. We yearn for restoration—for the wrongs made right, the bodies resurrected, the earth made new.
Do not let your yearning paralyze; let it empower.
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
Thank you so much for engaging with me on this topic. Your feedback made it one of the most rewarding series I’ve written. Praise His name…
Amen and Amen, over and over again!!! This was a necessary blog to complete the thoughts! My yearning has increased with the passing of years, (how CAN that be wrong when our Jesus is there?) but I still love life completely!
Yearning for heaven, even as a teen I remember being so weary and thinking “if only I could go to sleep tonight and never wake up on earth again”. I love what God is doing in my life and yet when times are rough all I can think is I wish to be gone from this earth.
I read somewhere once that there is a God shaped hole in our hearts, I think in those times of struggles that hole gets a little larger and we feel the only way it could ever be filled is in his presence.
~Blessings to you
Beautiful words! The exciting thing is that redemption even happens now. In increments, yes, and not in perfection, but it’s still real and wonderful.
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
I must confess that I longed for Heaven more as a young teen than even now. This verse has always been a comfort for me. Because Heaven has seemed so infinitely wonderful and near to me. (Especially after losing my youngest brother to death when I was 12 and he a mere 18 months of age) I knew Heaven was full of the goodness of the LORD, but I longed to see more of His goodness, in the land of the living. And He showed me His goodness time and time again. Many times I have not noticed it because I’ve been too focused on the struggles. I have so enjoyed these last posts from you. They have shed light on some of my struggles. My husband and I talked late into the night a couple nights ago, after I read this. I was like…well, you put it in words so much better than I can so I won’t elaborate. Just say thank you, you have given me much food for thought.
Your series was crying for these concluding remarks. Thanks for taking my heart and mind on a good journey in the last week.