Last week I sat with a college friend and talked about our lives.
We remembered our college days and how full they were of excitement. Excitement about newly discovered songs and a line of perfect lyric. Excitement about stolen moments dancing on the beach. Excitement about our favorite lamppost, a beautiful bridge, an insightful lecture, or authentic Thai food.
Now we are both married to men we really love, working at jobs we believe really matter, and I have just had the joy of welcoming my first son home through adoption.
Shouldn’t this be the most exciting time of our lives?
In some ways, absolutely. In other ways, not all. We both have felt that so many of the joys we used to live off of seem to have dulled. Music and concerts, sports and playoff times, Thai food and Chai tea, even sunsets and star gazing -they all seem a little less amazing than they did a few short years ago.
It’s harder to enjoy tea now that I know so much about human trafficking. I’m thankful for my son but I hold him and see the faces of others who will grow up in institutions. Sunsets feel like good times for texting hurting friends and star gazing is for the nights when I cannot sleep because of the brokenness in my corner of the world alone. Music sings me a song I already know: the world is full of people weeping, sinning, breaking, dying. I am one of them.
The moments of laughter and joy always feel like the calm before the storm. I know what’s coming. In this world you will have tribulation. Through many trials and troubles we will enter the kingdom. The Lord disciplines the ones that He loves. All discipline for the moment is painful.
This is light, momentary affliction, but affliction is filling our moments. No amount of dancing on beaches can wipe away these tears.
I remember days in high school, even college, where I would think, I want Jesus to come back, but not yet. First, I want to get married. First, I want to see the world. First, I want to adopt.
I was such a fool.
I love this life and I am grateful for the gifts God has given me, but I would trade all of this in a second, in a second, for heaven. For tears wiped away. For no more sorrow. For a heart that is finally and fully made new. For Jesus. For Jesus. For Jesus.
I want the nearness of God. I want Him to dwell with me and make His home with me forever. That isn’t happening yet. The Lord meets us in the wilderness, but I’m ready for the Promised Land. For the land where the promise that He will be my God forever will prove to be forever true.
I know we’re meant to live in this world. I know that we are meant to trace the sunbeams up to the sun and soak in the glory of our Father that is all over the world that He has made. I want eyes that can see more clearly and a voice that will rise in praise more often, even here, even in the wilderness.
But I don’t want to pretend that this world is not broken. It is. He has us here and He is with us in this, but we are not home. Suffering reminds us of that.
It reminds me that I am living in this world, but I am longing for another one. The joys of life in this world are so dim, so dull, compared to having Christ forever.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Come quickly. All of my longing is for You.