These all died in faith without having received the promises, but they saw them from a distance, greeted them, and confessed that they were foreigners and temporary residents on the earth. Hebrews 11:13
With age, have you noticed that things here become less appealing? Have you felt more and more out of touch with how the world thinks and what it values? Have you gotten to the place where you feel like a misfit, a stranger and an alien?
If your answer is yes, you’re in the company of those in the family of God who have refused to dig their foundation into shifting sand. We know that it is temporal and fragile; far different from the foundation of stone found in God. It may look more attractive but we’re not fooled. We enjoy the confidence that comes from living on our solid Rock, Christ Jesus.
The steep way of faith is a lonely journey. There are fewer and fewer, even among God’s children, who stay on the narrow path. The numbers who hunger and thirst after righteousness diminish as their faith walk gets steeper. Jesus loses appeal when held up against the opiates of our age. Those who settle for less have decided that’s it’s too much hard work to dig into the depths of Living Water and not just taste it but then to live off of it. But for everyone who perseveres, our eyes search for other pilgrims, the ones who also talk longingly of home. At first glance, we might look like people around us, but it doesn’t take long in conversation to recognize other believers who also see their future with eyes of faith. Everything we’ve prayed for hasn’t happened yet. Everything we’ve hoped for is deferred. That’s okay. Like Abraham, we can see it from a distance.
Ron’s father, a well-known evangelist, would say to a crowd of people before giving an invitation, “I’m as sure of heaven as though I’d already been there for 1,000 years.” Who talks like that? Only one who has made his home in the Word and abides in Christ. The Psalmist said, Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. Psalm 39:12 I can hear the longing. I can sense the eyestrain as he perpetually scans the horizon for the lights of Jerusalem. He reached it in 2006 when Jesus welcomed him home.
My cure for worry, Lord? Becoming consumed with what awaits. You will open the door and welcome me too. Amen