Dear everyone, I love my bed.
Like, really really love. Have you ever been away from home so long you feel like you actually might sacrifice one of your limbs just to be back in your own sheets with your own pillow on your own mattress?
The past 10 days, we spent time traipsing all over Massachusetts. My husband spoke at a youth camp, we visited my family, we went to a marriage celebration cookout, we ate at my sister’s five-star restaurant. It was a seriously full and blessed time. I have felt undeserving to have so many fulfilling experiences. But also, I missed my bed. We slept on camp mattresses and couches. Y’all. My body pillow did not make the trip. I told my husband I loved him, but when we pulled into our house at 4 am, I had a date with that body pillow. And I won’t lie to you, it was all I imagined it to be.
Have you ever thought about how the places we call “home” change over time? The places that give you comfort and a sense of belonging – they shift. What used to be foreign and new is now where you crave to be.
The thing about it, though, is that if I’m sleeping in a fancy hotel bed, I can spare some time away from my own. The times that I’m dying to be in my own bed is when I’m uncomfortable somewhere else.
I am sure you’ve heard it said before that following Jesus isn’t meant to be comfortable. But to be honest, I don’t think most of us believe that. I think we have an acceptable idea in our head of what kind of “discomfort” we’d be willing to go through. Like, the tolerable, sleeping on a damp camp mattress kind of uncomfortable.
Jesus does so much through our discomfort and our pain. So much more than I’ll mention in these few words. But God has planted eternity in the human heart [Ecc. 3:11]. This life isn’t meant to be uncomfortable just so we can learn something through the process. This life is uncomfortable because we aren’t home yet. If we loved everything about our life here on earth, we would never long for heaven. Our souls wouldn’t have an innate desire for something more.
We feel it – and we don’t know how to name it. The ache for peace. The longing for true calm, for deep joy and to be without pain. The truth is, that’s what we were made for. We were made to spend eternity with our Creator. You are not home yet. There’s a reason that pain and suffering and injustice just can’t settle right in our souls. They aren’t supposed to.
Why should any of this matter to you? You still have to live life. You’re here for a purpose. Are we just stuck waiting? What are we supposed to do while we’re here?
We are supposed to:
“Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which only have temporal value].” Colossians 3:2
Paul continues in 4 more verses explaining what kind of earthly things we don’t need to worry about, since we are a new creation. Putting to death in your mind the earthly things of: immorality, impurity, lust, greed, anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, dirty language, lying… go read it for yourself in verses 5-9.
But because we are chosen, because our home is still waiting for us – we choose to think on heavenly things. And this list is so much more beautiful. Mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness, love, peace, and thankfulness. (verses 12-16)
“And over all these virtues, put on love.” v. 14
When people cut you off on the highway.
When your best friend deserts you.
When you experience loss that causes you to doubt.
When you’re in physical pain that just doesn’t seem fair.
When you’ve waited for miracles, wondering if they’ll ever come.
When you wonder if anyone notices you.
When the days are just long, routine, and you wonder if you’re making any difference.
You’re not meant to settle down and be comfy. You’re not supposed to cuddle up with your body pillow, work hard until you can retire and then relax. So until we’re home for real, we love. We live with and for God, seeking to bring as many people home with us as we can. We trust Him when we feel uncomfortable in our own world. It’s only with Him we find our comfort and our sense of belonging. We find our home and ourselves in Him.
“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Hebrews 13:14