Learn to come home

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by Chris Ivie

Students seek new homes in their residential commons. Photo credit: The Assembly

Do you ever feel homesick? You’re not the only one. Going to a different place away from your family and loved ones, being put into a new environment and being told to survive is often very distressing. This is common for college students around the world. Often people feel alone in this situation, or they long for the comfort of their home with their parents.

The homesickness felt by young people all over the world is a microcosm of what humanity as a whole feels spiritually. The Bible explains that our origin is not this earth, but rather that we are spiritual beings who were once in heaven [Gen 3:12-13.23, Isa 14:12-15, Eze 28:12-17, Rev 12:9].

The pain and discomfort we feel on earth is distressing and burdensome, and makes us long for our home in paradise. This is why many people also seek the comfort of material wealth; it reminds us of our home.

Here on earth we experience things like homesickness because we miss our family, not just our home. If we experience spiritual homesickness and have a spiritual home, do we have a spiritual family as well?

The Bible explains that systems here on earth are copies and shadows of those in Heaven, like the sanctuary system [Heb 8:5]. The family system is also a copy of what is in Heaven; we can tell if we go part by part.

Who taught you to work hard so that you could make it here, to SMU, and even be in a place to feel homesick? Your father. You have a physical father; you also have your spiritual Father [Heb 12:9, Matt 6:9]. Your physical father is a shadow of your Father in Heaven.

Who did you grow up with, have adventures with and get in trouble with? Your brothers and sisters. Just as your father has sons and daughters – your brothers and sisters – you also have brothers and sisters in heaven [Matt 12:50, 2 Cor 6; 17-18].

Who comforts you? Who always encouraged you and gave you so much love and care? Your mother. You have a physical mother who is a shadow of your spiritual Mother [Gal 4:26]. Just as your physical mother misses you, and your Heavenly Mother misses you.

Yes, just as there is an earthly family that misses us and that we miss, there is a heavenly family that misses us. Don’t you miss them? Just as your parents miss you so much that they come to visit you, so too our parents in Heaven come to us, and call us back to them [Rev 22:17, Rev 21:9-10, Gal 4:26, John 1:29, Heb 9:28].

Today let’s reflect on why we are here and how we can change the world – not forgetting our loved ones who support us behind the scenes – and plan to go home soon.

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