Not feeling at home here

Someone said it well: During the Great Depression many Christians sang of heaven, but we don’t do that so much anymore because we have it so good right now, on earth.

Think for a moment of the many songs of heaven that came from that difficult era: “An Empty Mansion,” (1937); “Beyond the Sunset,” 1936; “Heaven Holds All for Me” (1932); “In Heaven They’re Singing” (1937); “No Tears in Heaven” (1935); “Paradise Valley” (1935), and so on.

One song writer expresses it this way: “Sometimes I grow homesick for heaven” (F.M. Lehman, “No Disappointment in Heaven.”) It’s an interesting, yet true thought to be homesick for a place we have never actually seen.

Have we lost that deep longing for heaven our forebears once had? Have the material possessions we have dulled our spiritual appetite?

It was Albert Brumley who wrote in his song “This World Is Not My Home” the refrain: “And I can’t feel at home in this world any more.”

It reminds us of the Patriarchs, wandering the Promised Land: “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on earth” (Hebrews 11:13).

How could they be so dedicated to a land they never owned on earth? The answer is that God had “prepared for them a city” (Hebrews 11:16).

I have just one question for you: What will we do if, God forbid, we suddenly lost the material wealth we so enjoy today? What if we undergo another great depression? Is that what it will take to force us once again, to long for heaven?

Have we become too comfortable here on earth? Do we feel at home on this earth?

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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