About a year and a half ago, my husband and I decided to follow God’s call to move from Iowa to Tennessee. They say, “Never say never”. I should’ve heeded that because at one point in my life, I said I would never move to the South. Yet, despite all the many hurdles and hiccups along the way, here I am. And, honestly, I’m struggling to enjoy it. I miss the midwest; snow, shopping carts (not buggies), cows wandering into the front yard. I need to learn to surrender that. But I’m realizing there’s another part which won’t ever go away. This world isn’t perfect. We must learn to be content with the imperfect while still yearning for perfection.
No matter where I’ve lived (over a dozen places), I’ve always found something with the building that wasn’t just right. Either there was carpet in the kitchen, the water smelled like sulfur, the layout was odd, or the stairs were terrifying. If asked, everyone will point to at least one flaw in their home. There’s this longing inside of us for the perfect home. Good news: One day, we can have that perfect home. Jesus promised us in John 14:1-3, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” This promise holds true for any and all, but also only, those who believe in their heart and confess with their mouth that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9).
It can be nerve racking to wait on another to get a home ready. In the transition from state to state, my husband moved into his parents’ already overcrowded house in Tennessee while our four children and I waited for him to prepare a place for us to stay. The small two bed-room apartment he found for us barely worked. When we moved again, my father-in-law asked me if I would miss it. I responded with a firm “no.” But the place Jesus is preparing for us isn’t going to be a big disappointment. In Revelation 21, we foretaste its majesty. I recommend reading the entire chapter.
“And he carried me (John) away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed… The wall was built of jasper, while the city was pure gold, like clear glass… And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (verses 10-12, 18, 23).
Any temporal and temporary place cannot hope to stand up to that. This is the hope that Abraham and Sarah had when God told them to leave Ur and travel to an unknown destination. Hebrews 11:16 says, “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.” It was their trust in God shown by their obedience which granted them access to the Heavenly City. That being said, Abraham and Sarah were still immensely prosperous. Wherever they went, the promise came true that they would be a blessing and would be blessed.
In their prosperity, though, there were hard times. Abraham and Sarah endured famine, fought battles, sustained family drama, and so on (Genesis chapters 12-23). There is trouble and turmoil in life, and I wrongly placed the blame on my geographic location. Truth be told, the home we’re staying in now is beautiful. Like Abraham, I have been blessed. Still, I know that there’s an even better home yet to come.
“Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”