Turning the windshield wipers on high to combat the pouring rain, the old man sighed. He was almost home – and he couldn’t wait. It had been a long three weeks. Living in the nursing home to help his ailing wife was a wonderful blessing to her, but it had more than drained him of all the energy and resources he had. Her funeral had been bittersweet. She had been unable to live at home for the past six years, and his life had been consumed with visiting her, caring for her, and forging a new way ahead without her even as she lingered. Although she seemed to have forgotten him, the last three weeks proved that she had not, as she refused to cooperate for anyone but him. Unwilling to have her sent to a psychiatric ward, he had chosen to live with her until she died. Now, he eagerly anticipated eating his own food at his own table, sitting in his own chair, and sleeping in his own bed. It would be so very good to be home.
Vacation was supposed to be a time of rest and refreshment, but it had not turned out that way for her. She and her three children had looked forward to a time with relatives, but sickness had robbed them of the real joy of fellowship. An extra layer of exhaustion shrouded her shoulders as she considered the new life in her womb, just blossoming in the past few weeks. As illness passed from child to child and finally herself, she had not been able to consider her time her own. Being sick in a place far from home was much more difficult as she had navigated new doctors, different routines, and sleeplessness. The plane would land soon, and she couldn’t wait. She eagerly anticipated embracing her husband, being relieved from the burden of responsibility, and feeling well again. It would be so very good to be home.
The weary refugee felt that he would never be home. The sand, the wind, and the heat were bad enough; but the failure of the wells meant that each day they lived with an endless thirst. No water for washing and barely enough drinking water for the children meant that each day was a misery. He woke up to sand on his clothes and in his hair and could never get them clean. His tongue stuck to the roof of his mouth, and even though he drank, there was never enough to truly quench the thirst. If only the rains would come. If only he could return home, even for just one day, to sit under his tree in his backyard and drink the fresh well water. He had just heard the news that his name had been accepted for immigration, but the very knowledge seemed to exacerbate the misery of his current condition. He had to wait for the endless paperwork to be completed while each day made him more desperate for a home to call his own. It would be so very good to be home.
I am almost home. Sometimes I can almost see the pearly gates; I can almost hear my Savior’s voice; I can imagine what it is like to have true fellowship with other believers, unhindered by sin. How long will it be before I arrive? Five days? Five years? Five decades? That is not for me to know or decide; I will arrive home when my Savior calls me there. Then I will finally be able to eat at the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 3:20 and 19:9). I will finally see my Husband face to face (I Corinthians 13:12). I will finally feel well again (Revelation 21:4). I will finally quench my thirst (Revelation 22:17). Many Christians express a desire to live a long and happy life on this earth, and part of me understands and agrees with them. The other part of me, however, yearns to be truly home. Would the elderly man desire to live longer in the nursing home with his partially insane wife? Would the wife and mother long to delay her return to the care and comfort of her husband? Would the refugee pray for one more day, week, or year in the refugee camp? Of course not; and as strangers and pilgrims on this earth, we should also earnestly “desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better” (Philippians 1:23). Heaven is my home, Christ is my all in all, and I shall enjoy them perfectly for all eternity. I will pray with the saints of all the ages: “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20) It will be so very good to be home.