Dec 05

Why We All Feel Homesick Sometimes

Everybody feels homesick once in a while. Even our older daughter, a very independent, self-sufficient young woman, admitted she was homesick when she first went away to college

“It was in the fall of my freshman year,” Danielle recalls. “I remember I was homesick for a couple of hours…but it went away.” (I told you she was independent!)

I think many of us can feel a little–or a lot–homesick around the holidays. I know my Indiana daughter and her four kids are homesick for a Pennsylvania Christmas with all the rest of our family, but it won’t happen until Dec. 30.

And even though I have two wonderful daughters and three fabulous grandkids nearby this season, I’m homesick for a childhood California Christmas with my “little” brother and our parents. What I wouldn’t give for another holiday to celebrate with them.

Perhaps you are homesick for a loved one this year too. Or maybe you’re having a hard time facing the holidays because of health issues in your life or your family’s.  Or financial struggles or relationship issues or any number of life trials.  It doesn’t seem “fair” to be struggling at Christmas.

We have dear friends whose 30-something daughter was recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. She’ll be getting radiation and chemo as her family prepares to celebrate her baby’s first Christmas. So not fair.

Another dear friend is trying to enjoy holiday festivities for the first time in 47 years without his beautiful wife by his side. So not the way he had imagined his retirement years to be.

Even if you haven’t been grumbling about struggles, you probably have heard plenty of others doing so. Did you know that every complaint is a symptom of homesickness?

Every time we growl that circumstances aren’t fair or we’re disappointed in an outcome or we bemoan how we’ve been treated, we’re acknowledging that we’re homesick.

In fact, we are all homesick for our real home…Heaven.Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us that God “has planted eternity in the human heart.” We all have an innate longing to live forever in a place where everything is fair, there are no disappointments and we never are mistreated. But we need to embrace the fact that is not going to happen here on earth.  In fact the earth itself, like us, is “homesick” for the way it used to be.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 8: “But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.”

All this decay and death we–and the earth– are experiencing is not the way it’s “supposed” to be. It doesn’t feel right because it’s not. God’s perfect plan is still to come.

“We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.” (Romans 8:23b)

Go ahead and put a “new, healthy body” on your Christmas list, but realize no matter how many remissions and cures we get here and now, one day we will leave these earthen vessels behind and get the new, immortal bodies our Heavenly Father has promised all Christ-followers.

One of the people I look forward to meeting in Heaven is someone I never knew on earth: my paternal great-grandmother May Andrews Peirce. She was a prolific poet and I’d like to think my writing ability came down through her genes. In 1928 when she was nearly 60, she wrote a poem she called “HOME.”

In childhood’s days, our thoughts of Heaven
Are pearly gates, and streets of gold.
But in the gathering years,
When time, within its fading leaf
With eyes, perchance be-dimmed with tears,
And hearts oft’ overwhelmed with grief,
We look beyond the pearly gates,
Beyond the clouds of sin’s dark night,
And see a place where loved ones wait,
A place all beautiful and bright.
And over all, we’ll see the face of Him
Who’ll bring us to our own—
Not to some far-off, distant place.
For Heaven is, after all, just HOME.

To enjoy Chris Tomlin’s “Home” music video, open in your browser or use this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twL3v5r8s6o