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I Wanna go Home!

July 2, 2015

 “I’m tired of being here! I wanna go home!” My son whined from the back seat of the car. We had chosen to go to the park, but it had begun to rain unexpectedly. We decided to wait it out, but as we sat in the car, my son, bored, angry, and frustrated—and this time, more politely—asked if we could go home. I obliged and pointed the car toward home.

I agree with my son . . . I wanna go home! I don’t know about you, but things in this world don’t seem to be getting any better—in fact, they’re getting worse!

As I sit here writing this, my mind turns to the apostle John . . . now in the last part of his life becoming John the Revelator. He was another individual who had also not only seen, but personally experienced, his share of suffering through the storms of life and more specifically, in the form of religious persecution. John had lived to see all his friends killed—martyred for the cause of Christ. He was the last one alive.

Can you imagine what must have been going through his mind as he sat there isolated on Patmos, that small Greek island in the Aegean Sea, exiled by the Roman government for preaching about Jesus (Revelation 1:9). As he sat there, far away from everyone he knew and loved, his life seemingly destroyed and in shambles, he was likely missing his friends and family . . . his biological family, the 12 “brothers” he had spent so much focused time with as a baby Christian, and Jesus. Oh, how he must have missed, even ached to see and be with, Jesus.

By any other estimate, he was a broken man. He had lost everything, but he chose to focus, not on the negative things that happened to him in the past and present, but on the positive things that would happen in the future. There on that desolate island, throughout the entire book of Revelation, he would go on to write about the incredible things that were to happen. He ends this incredible narrative in chapters 21 and 22 with an incredible description of something better, something improved . . . something new!

In Revelation 21:1-7, John tells us: “I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared, and so had the sea. Then I saw New Jerusalem, that holy city, coming down from God in heaven. It was like a bride dressed in her wedding gown and ready to meet her husband. I heard a loud voice shout from the throne: God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever. Then the one sitting on the throne said: I am making everything new. Write down what I have said. My words are true and can be trusted. Everything is finished! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give water from the life-giving fountain to everyone who is thirsty. All who win the victory will be given these blessings. I will be their God, and they will be my people” (CEV, emphasis added).*

In Revelation 22, the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, in verses 7, 12, and 20, John again reminds us that Jesus is coming soon. It’s almost like he doesn’t want us to get so bogged down, so broken down, so discouraged that we forget that Jesus is coming when? Soon!

In verse 17, Jesus reminds us and offers each and every one of us the life-giving water that He is. He pleads with us to come. “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Everyone who hears this should say, ‘Come!’ If you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water, come and take it. It’s free!” (CEV).

Are we truly thirsty for something other than what this world has to offer? So what is your response to Jesus’ offer? Will you come or stay? I hope that our response will be that of John the Revelator, who longed for something better, when he wrote in verse 20, those six simple words: “ . . . So, Lord Jesus, please come soon!” (CEV, emphasis added.)

We all wanna go home!

* Scriptures quoted from CEV are from the Contemporary English Version, copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

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