Longing for a Better Country – A Heavenly One

February 25, 2021 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

By Heather Allen –

A man, a stranger, sat himself at our table. I was drinking a cappuccino and playing speed scrabble with two good friends. He started talking, sharing life stories, then shifted into telling Bible stories. He wanted to be sure we knew Jesus. He left our table. I eyed him as he moved thru Barnes & Noble bookstore, wondering who he was. He came back and told us there was something more to say. “Jesus is coming soon,” he said intently. Before leaving, he instructed us to tell others, and to live as if this were our last day. Squinting at my letters, I tried to separate my thoughts from the stranger’s thoughts. There was something unsettling working at the back of my mind. I continued to mull over his words, demeanor, and intensity. I began to pray as I fiddled with my tiles, resigned to an inevitable loss.

For days, I replayed the conversation, examining the way I spent my time. Wondering if the things I pour myself into have value. We live in strange times, quietly assaulted with horrific stories of brutality, decadence, and greed. There are others who believed they would see Jesus return, maybe for the same reasons we believe. But the stranger’s thoughts stirred me. I cannot recall every word he spoke, but the words I woke to at night were these two: stay awake. So I called a few friends, read scripture, and tried to understand what it looks like to stay awake. And I began to implore the Lord during those quiet periods of lying wide-eyed. And He unfolded scripture. Timothy 5 says a widow living for pleasure is already dead. She is contrasted with one who puts her full hope in the Lord, and calls to Him day and night. Waking up means dropping the self-reliance. Everything holds together because God has decided to let the Earth continue for another day. He is the first, last, and only hope.

The Lord alone knows the timing on the eternal clock, but I can tell you that I am carrying my pack and setting my heart on pilgrimage. This is not my home. I am looking for a new country: eager to live in a better one, a heavenly one. I know God has prepared a city. I am at the back of the line. Abraham, Sarah, Noah, Enoch, Abel and thousands of others have already traversed these earthly roads searching for heavenly ones. They lived faith. There were promises they never saw filled, they held on anyway. And so God was not ashamed when they called him their God.

As I wait for my bridegroom, I do so acknowledging that I am poor, pitiful, blind and naked. So I ask for refined character, salve so I can see, and to be clothed in white. I want to be awake, watching the sky as my redemption draws near. Come soon Lord Jesus!

“Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you” (Revelation 3:2-3 NIV).

About Heather Allen

Check out Heather Allen's blog at: http://www.theknottedapron.blogspot.com/
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