I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Seventy years ago, he eloped with the preacher’s daughter. With only a few dollars, my grandparents began their life together. They have stuck it out through seventy years of good times, some really tough times, and taught us all what commitment looks like. Now 92 and 89, they celebrated their 70th anniversary quietly at home. As I spoke to my grandmother that night she told me, “We were going to have a party, but most all of our friends are already home.” Already home….already home….what a sweet perspective on Heaven, and what a lesson on how to view this life--no matter what our age.
Most of us know we live in a “fallen world” where we have trouble. Daily, we see evidence in the news and in our own lives. Yet, we long for perfect don’t we? We long to have everything comfortable and fixed around us. I often look at my home and think, “The world may be messed up, but surely I can get this place just right”. But try as we may, our earthly homes will never be perfect will they? I can’t even seem to keep mine clean for two hours! And, to be honest, it isn’t just my home I find myself trying to “fix”. Often, my efforts to fix things turn to every unappealing circumstance that affects my family-- especially my children. Yet, I find a crazy, precious peace when I manage to stop, and rest in the fact that Jesus told us we would have trouble in this world; but also that He can work that trouble into good (Rom 8:28) if we just give it to Him instead of trying to run from it or fix it ourselves. How much time have I wasted (not praying), but trying to fix difficult things for my kids--when it is often those very hard things (when given to God) that bring the biggest, best lessons in this world that will never be perfect.
What if every day we would remember this is not our home? What if we prayerfully looked at trouble as part of living, learning and growing in God-- instead of killing ourselves worrying about it, trying to fix it, or run from it? What if we viewed each day as a day to store up treasures in Heaven; instead of spending countless hours trying to make perfect a temporary, earthly house? What if we kept our eye on our Savior, strengthened ourselves with His Word every day, and remembered, with sweet anticipation, that this world is not our home? Yes, we may occasionally feel like aliens and strangers by not keeping up with what everyone else is doing… but our perspective on our very temporary problems will change, and we will have peace.
When we think about eternity with our King, the problems of this life don’t seem so big. One day dust bunnies and smudges on my walls won’t matter at all. Do they need to matter so much now? But “this–is-not-our home” thinking is bigger than dust bunnies. When we remember this life is but a breath (Job 7:7), and this world not our home (Heb 11:13); even hard things, like the death of those we dearly love who know the Lord, can be seen as a temporary moment where we are here and they are already “home”--party to be held there later.
Prayer: Father, this is not easy stuff. I want to keep my eyes on You and remember this life is not my home. Will You help me to be filled daily with truth in Your Word? Will You have the Holy Spirit remind me to focus on what is really important? Will You help me to care about what You care about, and remember that you allow hard things often to teach me and those I love? Will You bless me with the peace that comes from knowing You and remembering this world is not my home? Thank You Lord. I love you. Amen.
And a request from me – Will you pray for this devotional? Please pray that every word would be only what God would have me to write? This e-devotional has been requested from women all across the United States, and even in Kenya, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, India, Taiwan, UK, Malaysia, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. It is my desire that God alone be glorified, and that I would handle His precious Word carefully. I am now posting this devotional on my blog- www.kimjaggers.blogspot.com and on my facebook page – “Kim Jaggers Christian Speaker”. Thank you for your prayers --what a wonderful God we serve!