by Joanna Pierce on February 28, 2018

When I was a sophomore in high school, our marching band was given the incredible opportunity to voyage overseas for a Europe tour. At first, I didn’t want to go—traveling without my parents was something I’d never done before, and the idea of journeying by plane was beyond frightening. However, after being persuaded this trip it was the opportunity of a lifetime, I caved and signed up at the last minute. Off I went, the day after Christmas, to return home sometime after the New Year.

Realistically, 1 ½ weeks was not a long time to be gone, but it felt like forever. Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful time sightseeing and spending time with friends. But, it wasn’t long before I was tired of sleeping in hotel beds, using a weird converter to blow dry my hair so I wouldn’t knock out the power in the hotel again (that’s another story for another day), eating strange food, not being able to read anything in English—overall, being plain uncomfortable with my surroundings.

Prior to my departure, I obtained a pre-paid international calling card to contact my parents in case of emergency. After a while, I desired something to remind me of home. Truthfully, I was homesick, and I needed to hear my parent’s voice. And, that was reason enough for me to make that emergency call.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth (Hebrews 11:13, KJV).

I love reading about the pillars of faith in the Bible. How did they persevere in their faith? How did they keep going when the world around them seemed so dark? The driving factor: a promise of a future country and a future home.

Our patriarchs and matriarchs of faith weren’t comfortable living in this world. They knew to press on because they were just strangers and pilgrims on earth. Their death wasn’t going to be the end. Strangers in the Greek (xenos) means a foreigner or guest, and pilgrim (parepidémos) means a sojourner—someone just passing through.

I’m reminded of an old song that explains this Scripture well:

This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
And, I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

Just as I was a tenth-grader homesick to get back to a place I knew I belonged, we as Christians need to be homesick for a similar place. We need to long for a place we’ve never seen, but have been promised through the Word of God. We need to be homesick for Heaven! That’s our future home. That’s our future country. It’s not here; it’s not today; it’s not on earth.

We can’t be comfortable in a place that’s not our home. This is just a place to dwell for a season and then we’re leaving. This is why we need to call home to hear God’s familiar voice, so He can encourage us to press on just a little while longer. He can let us know everything is going to be alright.

Are you homesick today? Are you looking forward to the place Jesus has prepared for you (John 14:3)? Let’s get on our knees in prayer and make that phone call home. God will help us turn our eyes toward Heaven, and He will stir up that yearning for our true home.