"These (Abraham and Sarah) all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them,embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them." (Hebrews 11:13-16)
Recently Jordynn said absentmindedly, and more to the window in the car, than to me, "I can't WAIT to be in heaven with Jesus." It's always convicting. I usually say, "Oh, I know sweetie won't that just be wonderful?!" Insert weak smile here. I say this all the while my life says surely that I think that this earth is quite wonderful actually and really there is no place else I'd rather be.
I do not want to admit that I am a stranger or a pilgrim (we've read about those recently and their journey was rough!). I don't even want people to think I'm different. I want to blend in. I want people to think I'm one of them. My eyes are clearly focused on here. Just here. This country. The one I've grown up in and grown to love. Apparently, too much at that ,for this is what my journal read but a few days ago:
"I have for too long clung desperately to this world. I have for far too long
been complacent because life here in America is easy. And, Oh,
how I long for it to be just as easy for my children! Yes, there are time I feel as an alien, but most of the time I am content to just blend in. I know my hope is in You
(Jesus), yet I live as if I care more about the cares of the world.
I want my children to live in a country that honours you,
but at what cost?"
Experience is a funny thing isn't it? I don't pretend to base all things on experience, but she can be a very good teacher. The Lord has used her many times in my life to show me sin that I was missing. And so as I looked back even further into my first scribblings about Philippians 1, beyond a few days ago and on into the beginning of August I see it was there that I learned (at least in my head) of Paul longing to be at home with Christ, but knowing that the church needed him also. Tension is found there, in verses 21-27 of Philippians, but for sure if Paul could have it his way, he would already be at home with the Lord.
It often happens this way. I read. I scribble away. I look up meanings of words. I pray. And pray a little more. My mind wanders. I learn a little in my little brain. There is a twinge of conviction here and there. I confess. And then WHAM life hits me over the head and that lesson is pounded deep into the reservoir of my heart, settles in a bit and it is then, and was in this experience that I realised that my hope, as much as I would have liked to protest to the contrary, had been in America.
Now hear me right please? I'm no fanatic. Of course we can and should enjoy our lives here as much as possible. We are so blessed to live in a country that freedom still rings. And I can relate to Paul, in that, I believe my children need me somewhat like those baby churches needed his teaching. That is a high a holy calling for any woman, and I want to delight and find joy in serving Christ in that capacity. I want to live each day with those around me that I love, wondering this wispy life together to it's fullest. I want to treasure the time with these 4 and the one I call Love. I want to travel and see all that I can...all that the Lord made and spoke into existence. Yes, I want all of this and probably more....lots more.
These things that I want, they are not bad nor wrong in and of themselves. The problem is they had transformed into desires and grown into longings and then morphed into demands as if I deserved to have all of them. And though the world tells me that I do deserve every, single one of them, the hard- to-swallow truth is that I don't. They are a bonus, those things I want. I know this because I look around, I read and see what the rest of the world faces each day as they rise early in the morning and come face to face with the magnitude of the blessings that have been granted to all of us that call ourselves American.
Blessings they are! Though they are not worthy of my trust. It is only the One who has bestowed the blessings on us that is worthy of that kind of trust. It is only he who will never fail or forsake me. He is patient and long suffering and kind, always showing me my weakness and forgiving my sin. Thank you, Lord Jesus...I am humbled.
These Thanksgivings courtesy of our 4 as I yelled out some word prompts:
740. Koen (which he was not happy that sister thought he was still small)
741. cups for measuring medicine
742. big turkey
747. Jesus (as in he will be bright in heaven??? so says Jordynn)
things that smell good....
749. coffee brewing
750. deodorant (and the people that wear it, I might add)
things that taste good....
752. candy (of course!)
753. clean water
754. pizza, clean air, biscuits
755. pumpkin and chocolate pie