I like to belong. It’s not fun feeling like an outsider, a third wheel, or an obligation. I like to be a part. I like to know that I am liked and truly welcomed. And, you know, that’s a good thing when it comes to the body of Christ. I should feel as if I’m a welcome part of the family.
Unfortunately, I don’t let the desires stop there. There are other things I want to be a part of, things of this world.
Part of me rails against such an accusation against myself. I don’t want to believe that I could possible desire to be a part of this world. I look around and see the vulgarity and immorality that are so commonplace and acceptable, and I am sickened. I see the pressure that is put on women to be physically perfect and "successful." I notice the weight pressed down on our children to stand out in heartbreaking ways. I mourn over the crushed marriages. I grieve the hopelessness that comes from rejecting God. How could I ever believe that I want to be a part of this world?
As should always be the case, it is Scripture that convicts me of the truth.
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 earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. Hebrews 11:13-14
When I stop to truly evaluate my life, I cannot help but see that the promises I long to have fulfilled are so very earthly. Daily provision. Time each day to accomplish the things on my list. Security with my family. A little free time here, fun there, and good food through it all. I want to lose weight so I can fit back into my clothes. I want to protect my calendar so I can spend time with my husband and children. Not bad things, really. But very earthly. How often does my heart long for the eternal promises? In all honesty, I struggle with the ability to focus on those eternal promises. They often seem so intangible. They are not things I understand clearly. The visible and tangible are so much more easier to contemplate.
The heroes of faith enjoyed the blessings of this life just as much as the next person. There is no wrong to be found in longing for the good things of God in this world. But, that is the key…we must long for the things of God. When I long for the things of God, desiring the things I mentioned earlier will fall hand in hand with desiring the eternal promises of God.
I want it to be clearly known of me that I am a stranger and exile here. I want it to be obvious that I am seeking a real home. A true country where my patriotism can be full, complete, and without reservation. An eternal home.