Yesterday I woke up homesick for heaven. Do you ever have days like that? In the dark quietness of my room, I read these words from I Peter 4:7,8 and they stirred something in me. "The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins." (NLT)
As I read these ancient words (The end of the world is coming soon...), I felt such a deep longing for heaven. Perhaps this longing was made more intense because yesterday was my sister Laura's birthday. She would have turned 56. I can only imagine the celebration she was treated to in heaven!
As I prayed over these words, I found myself asking Jesus to return soon. But in the quiet of my heart God reminded me of the many people I love who are struggling so fiercely...and are not yet ready for His return. He showed me that now is the time to pray earnestly.
Each day I pray for my husband, children, grandchildren, and many others. But a few years ago, God led me to also start praying deeply and intentionally for our nieces and nephews, their spouses and kids. I have pictures of all of them on my computer (say what you may, but facebook is a great tool to find pictures - and prayer needs!). In addition to praying over their struggles, challenges, and joys, I also boldly pray that each and every one of them will surrender their lives to the Lord. I wholeheartedly take as truth the words of James 5:16b..."The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
Anyway, looking back on it, the day did have a sort of "heavenly" feel to it! It was an absolutely gorgeous day -- especially for March in Iowa -- mid-to upper 70's, warm breeze, wonderfully sunny. I had the day off, so I spent much of the afternoon walking the bike trails out by the dam. I loved it! All around, I caught glimpses of heaven -- even in the brokenness of the beauty -- and I found myself desiring more. I am homesick for heaven and anticipate the beauty and perfection of the new heaven and new earth, a world filled with the essence of God. But in the meantime, I pray. I remember that "The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise (to return), as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent." (2 Peter 3:9).