Christmas whispers of home — we all long for those familiar sounds and smells and love. I received a text message today from a dear friend of mine, April. She sent me a picture of their Christmas Tree — all decorated and ready for the celebration to come!
April shared that she and her family went out to the forest and brought that tree home…I’m sure the smell of pine and trail left of pine needles was a welcome grace to her. You see, they used to live here in Florida — missionaries to this hot, tropical paradise — but April never really acclimated to Florida. She absolutely hated the heat — hated the lack of season changes — missed her home up north. Oh, she served faithfully here — jumping in and being and loving and “suffering” for the Lord…smile! However, this was never home for her and now they have returned to the Land of Winter!
All of this made me homesick for my own “northern country” of Virginia. My heart began longing for the cold weather, the smell of fresh pine needles, hot chocloate, and family. I wonder, if like April, if I were allowed to go home, would I be more content — happier — at peace, than I am here in Sunshiney Florida?? Maybe, but probably not!
I am homesick for another place — my real Home, Heaven! I can almost smell the aroma of peace and love and wholeness that Heaven promises. My mind wanders a little and I tiptoe into the “I wonders!” Will there be the scent of pine needles, hot chocolate, Cinamon, or even Nutmeg? I remember hearing a story on a Gaither video about a little child that asked her Daddy, “Will my puppy be in Heaven?” The father wasn’t quite sure how to answer such a question and so he said, “Honey, you imagine Heaven the best that it can be and I promise it will be so much more!” What a wise and discerning answer to offer that child, as he didn’t promise what he could not know, yet afforded HOPE! No, I’m sure Heaven will not have these things of human wont, but it does offer us something far better.
What will there be? Jesus — there will be Jesus! His glory will illuminate this heavenly Home. Oh, Scripture tells us a bit of Heaven’s glory — streets of gold, the crystal sea, and so much more that we cannot even image. In fact, John told us this in Revelation:
Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.
(Revelation 22:1-5 NASB)
Oh, that will be glory! As long as I sojourn here on this ole’ earth, my heart will long for that Heavenly place, but I’m so thankful that God, in His infinite wisdom and sovereign love, allowed April and me the smell of fresh pine needles, snow, hot chocolate, and most of all love and relationship with kindred spirits. Merry Christmas, April!