We often forget that we’re all inherently lost. We are all homesick and heartsick, and we’re all in it together. How we each deal with our state of lostness is a different story. Like the younger brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son, some of us seek out “home” by literally going on a journey is search of “greener pastures.” Or, like the older brother, we try to win our “home” through good works. Either way, we sorely miss the mark because we are trying to create our heaven on Earth, and therefore continue to remain strangers in a strange land.
God initially created humans to live in abundance. The Garden of Eden was brimming with perfection. Unfortunately, being human, we couldn’t see the abundance for what it was and wanted more. This selfishness separated us from God and subsequently from the wealth that comes with living in His presence. This severing is felt in every waking and sleeping moment of our mortality. The writer, C.S. Lewis described it this way, “Our life-long nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we feel cut off, to be on the inside of some door which we have always seen from the outside, is no mere neurotic fancy, but the truest index of our real situation.”
Some of us know it for what it is. We know that it’s a desire to be home with God. Some of us know it and continually forget it. We are found only to lose ourselves again and again. Then, some of us never understand the motivation behind this soul-searching craving. Instead, we fill it with temporary fixes like alcohol, drugs, money, material possessions, food, people, etc. We try to fix it but the brokenness or craving that can only be mended by God.
Lucky for us, we don’t have to “search” or “earn” God’s company. He searches us out and offers a place at His hearth and home freely. He delivers us from our earthly woes and restores us to an abundance of life everlasting. Isaiah illustrates God’s promise of restoration this way:
“Your God will come… he will come to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf be unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. The ransomed of the Lord will return; they will enter Zion with singing. Every-lasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.” (Isaiah 35)
Nothing we do in this world can accomplish this same impressive and transcending promise.