I’ve Never Been This Homesick

As most Christians, I’ve heard my entire life that Jesus could come back at any minute. In the twinkling of an eye, like a thief in the night! When I was little, I just didn’t understand. I inherently believed it, with a childlike faith, but I didn’t get it. Then as a teenager, it terrified me. When I was a teen, the Left Behind series was popular and honestly, I was afraid I’d be left behind to endure the great tribulation. Like many teenagers, I tried my best to be rebellious and get by with what I could. But the Holy Spirit convicted me at every turn. I was so nervous that I’d wake up in the middle of the night and go to my parents room to make sure they were still there, because if they were there, I knew the rapture hadn’t happened. As I became a young adult, I remember thinking, I’m not ready for Him to take us. I’d sit in church and when Pastor would reference the coming of the Lord and I think to myself, I haven’t even lived! I want to get married, have kids, and live a little, then He can come back. I had an earthly mindset.

Now, at 33, my outlook has completely changed. We’ve been singing this new song at church called, ‘Don’t It Make You Wanna Go Home.’ The chorus says, ‘don’t it make you wanna go home, run through those gates and fall in Jesus’ arms, and the cares of this world will be gone.’ It just guts me every time. I am anxiously waiting to be called home. It would be really easy to think that because I’ve been married for almost 9 years and have two beautiful kids, I’ve lived enough to be okay to go now. Except that’s not the reason. As recently as 2 years ago, I remember thinking, just a little longer, Lord…let me see these babies grow up to be amazing people.

So, what shifted my thinking? Last May, my entire world turned upside down. The supposed ‘pandemic’ helped to open my eyes to what was really happening in the world. I began to rethink nearly every aspect of my life and every single thing that I’d been taught. As I researched and critically re-thought virtually everything in life, I realized that there was one thing that I never once questioned. Jesus Christ. I had stripped my heart and mind down to the bare bones and He was the one thing that remained steadfast. The government had failed me, doctors had failed me, the media failed me, education failed me. He is the one thing that has never failed me.

To be honest, I had coasted in my Christianity up to that point. I’ve been at the same church since I was 6, attended regularly, and tried to do everything I was supposed to. However, I wasn’t really living. I was just going through the motions. While I listened to the sermons, I wasn’t listening with spiritual ears. (Sorry, Pastor!) Whenever I thought about eternity, it was in distant terms. I always assumed I’d end up in Heaven, but it was never in the forefront of my mind. We know that is the opposite of how we’re supposed to live as Christians. Matthew 25:13 says, “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” His return is imminent and we should live as such.

Watching for His coming changes you on every level. When you are eternally minded, you know that every action taken has the potential to affect, not only your own eternal future, but the future of others. You know that, while you will never be perfect, you strive to be more like Christ each day to win souls for Him. You focus less on this increasingly vile world because you know this Earth is not your home. Philippians 3:20-21 is a great source of encouragement. “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.” As it is abundantly clear that we are living in the last days, we must be strong and steady in the Lord. James 5:7-9 says, “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

Friend, I urge you, if you don’t know the Lord or you’re not sure where you stand, the time to repent is now! Jesus came to seek and save sinners. He says in Luke 5:31-32, “Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” He never meant for us to meet the fate of the world. He died on the cross so we could have a path to eternal life. Walk with Him now, and watch for His coming!

Until next time,

Erica Lee

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