My eight year old son left for camp for the first time yesterday. He has been looking forward to this for some time and is going with a few friends from church, so we have been optimistic as to how it will go. He has stayed away from home with his sister at his grandparents, but this is still a bit different. We hope he has a good experience, despite a few nights away from home. I never went to camp as a child, but was in my late 20’s as a counselor before I had that opportunity. I do recall the first time I stayed away from home with my grandparents when I was around four, and later with a friend from school and feeling a bit homesick each time, but still made it through just fine. When have you felt the most longing to return home when you were away?
For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven. Hebrews 13:14
I did a lot of traveling when I got to college and afterward and usually looked forward to vacations and time away in new places. I do recall one extended time of nearly three weeks in South America, which included a multi-day hike with friends to Machu Picchu, along with components of three different mission trips. The trip went well overall, but the last few days I was a little tired of staying in so many different places, and started to yearn a bit for a return to normalcy back in Iowa. When we are away from the comforts of our own homes, we may start to appreciate those things a little more when we first get back. I also recall being thankful for little things like roads without so much traffic and potholes, which is not the case in many parts of the world. What do you miss most when you are away from home?
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17
During dinner last night, my five year old daughter asked if our older son will be able to talk when he gets to heaven. I told her I believed so, and that God promised us new bodies, so that those that cannot see, hear, talk, or walk, will be able to do so in heaven. And that there will not be any hurt or anger because we will be like Jesus and be able to love others as he does. We also speculated what other abilities we will have, as we will learn new things and may even fly, but we don’t know for sure. It is fun to imagine what God has prepared for us, but are also reminded that he has us here on earth for a reason as well. He created us to be in this world, but not of this world, as we are in His Kingdom. That can be difficult to comprehend at times, but also gets easier with practice. May we look forward to our eventual heavenly home, but let us also work with diligence to advance His Kingdom each day we have the opportunity to do so!
But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:13
Yours in Christ,