As I ease back into the waters of blogging, I thought I’d share this with you.
Today is a bittersweet day. My dad beat cancer and went to Jesus on July 29th last summer. I miss him. I guess I had not realized how much our relationship had evolved into deep and true friendship over the last few years. One common mark in our friendship, and evidence that he “raised me right” was our love for Alabama football. Since 2007, I can only think of one game we didn’t watch together. The fact that ‘our’ team is playing tonight for the NCAA National Championship is a bittersweet event.
I’m following a Youversion.com Bible reading plan on prayer from the New Living Translation. This morning was a passage I’ve read many times from John 17. Jesus is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before his crucifixion. This is the first time I’ve read the chapter in this translation, so something really stuck out this morning.
Jesus said, “Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.” (John 17:5 NLT)
Jesus is asking his Father to bring him home to perfect unity and relationship again. No more separation from the gap of heaven and earth. Once again in the full presence and relationship they had before. Jesus is homesick for his Father.
I know this feeling. If you’ve lost someone close to you, you know the feeling as well.
Hebrews 4:15 says, “This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.”
Grief is still new territory I’m exploring everyday, so maybe that’s why I’m just now seeing how Jesus relates not just to our temptation, but our homesickness as well.
2012’s tragedies are remembered as shootings, hurricanes, job losses, cancer and tons more personal labels that may have fallen on your life. Sorrow makes us homesick for a place of perfect relationship where things are made right. Hopelessness magnifies hurt and sorrow and creates a vicious cycle of hurting ourselves and others leading to more hopelessness.
But hope sustains us.
I’m grateful to know I’m not alone. Jesus has been there and knows the feelings of homesickness. The desire to see my dad again and my Heavenly Father once and for all is a stirring in the heart that is right.
We’re not escapists. We long to see God’s Kingdom and authority come to this earth, just like it happens in heaven at every moment. But the tug on the heart for something greater and permanent is something Jesus felt as well.
What about you?
- What longings do you have in common with Jesus?
- Who are you homesick to see?
- What are you doing in the mean time, to complete the work of God in this broken world?