There are some moments that, even as you live them, you know that you will just never be the same…sometimes it is for the better…sometimes not…but you know that you will never get over that experience.
That is how the last two nights have been for me. For two evenings, I looked into the eyes of parents who will never see their child again on this side of heaven. I watched as they struggled to articulate a pain that is unexplainable. I drove home last night thinking…I will never get over that. And I shouldn’t get over it. We should never forget that we live in a place that is not our home. This land that we travel upon is rocky and hard…and temporary. Inwardly, we will always have this yearning for eternity…this longing to be with Jesus.
I thought of their stories as I read this morning in the book of Mark. I was reading about the demon possessed man in chapter 5…a story that I have read several times. The man goes to Jesus…the demons are driven out of him. But I have never…never…caught the story’s ending.
As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him. But He would not let him; instead, He told him, “Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you.” – Mark 5:18-19
The man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him…The man just wanted to be with Jesus. He has experienced the touch of the healer…the compassion of the savior…the peace of His presence…and he didn’t want it to end. This man knew the torment and pain that the world had to offer and he wanted to be done. It breaks my heart to read that he did not suggest to Jesus that he might like to join Him…he didn’t ask Jesus if it would be okay…he begged. Not only that…he kept begging. As I read those words, I thought of the mom and dad grieving the loss of their daughter…the mom and dad longing to have their son back. I can only imagine that they have been begging Jesus to return…for it to be that time when He will return and make all things right.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:8 NIV
All who have longed for His appearing…We do long for His appearing. How can we not? We all know what this world has to offer us and, to be honest, it leaves me feeling quite homesick.