Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life.... No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face. Revelation 22:1-4
Over the past years, I have had the opportunity to travel and minister in many places throughout the world. The sights, sounds, and smells are different. The language is strange to me. I have been schooled on what to eat and what not to eat. I am told by my hosts that there are things I should always do and things I should never do. When I am in a different country, I stand out as a foreigner in a foreign land. And while I love to travel, the best part of every trip is the moment I hear the tires touching down on the runway at Pittsburgh International Airport. And the absolute favorite part of every trip is when I am reunited with my family back at home.
Christians are citizens of heaven. Our life is simply a journey as foreigners in a foreign land. The sights, sounds, and smells of the world are not the things our hearts beat for. The language around us is strange at times. The customs are often in opposition to God's Word. Disease strips away strength. Death brings unimaginable pain. Divorce leaves shattered souls with broken hearts. We know this is not the way it's supposed to be. We yearn for something different. We yearn for home.
When Christ comes again or when we make that last journey from death to life, we will finally be home. When we arrive, we "will see his face." We will be with God and He will wipe every tear from our eyes. Death will be a thing of the past. Mourning will be no more. Crying will not be a part of our resurrected emotions. And pain will never be experienced again. Life in the "old country" will be over. We will be home, at last, in the indescribable place that Jesus has prepared just for us.
Father, thank You for the certain hope and reality of heaven. I look forward to the day when You welcome me home and wipe every tear from my eyes. In Jesus' name. Amen.