Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
After discussing Old Testament heroes like Abraham and Noah, Hebrews 11 says:
These people were still living by faith when they died.
They did not receive the things promised;
they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance,
admitting they were foreigners and strangers on earth.
People who say such things
are looking for a country of their own.
If they had been thinking of the country they left,
they could have returned.
Instead, they wanted a better country–
a heavenly one.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God.
That’s what I’m looking for. A better country, even though the 2021 Best Countries report rated Canada as number one in the world.
My list of suggestions for Canada includes milder winters, a more competent government, and better health care as I age.
Those on the wall of faith in Hebrews also wanted a better country–a heavenly one. Earth didn’t offer what they wanted and they died believing that the heavenly country would be better. Perhaps what I want is unavailable on earth. Perhaps the next life will provide it.
In Mere Christianity, CS Lewis wrote, If I have a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for a different world.
In another place he says, “We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who goes on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea” (CS Lewis, The Weight of Glory).
Perhaps so. But God was the first to play in the mud, when he formed humans and breathed into them the breath of life, and sent them to live in the muddy world he created. My true country is earth, not heaven.
Jim Reeves sings, “This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through”, but I sing, “This world is my home.”
Yet, God cursed the world when Adam and Eve sinned, and that removed much of its homeliness. The earth grows weeds, reminding us our lives are full of weeds. Plants and animals and humans march steadily toward death, reminding us that our home is decaying. The world breeds viruses and pandemics, highlighting life’s frailty and uncertainty. This world is my home, but a dangerous and temporary one.
Like the heroes of the faith mentioned in Hebrews, if I could find a better country, I too would embark on that journey.
Our father in heaven, we thank you that you made us for earth. But we live in a spoiled world that feeds our longing for a better country. The author of Revelation tells us the first heaven and earth will pass away, replaced with a new heaven and a new earth. In his vision, the New Jerusalem comes down from you in heaven, and a voice from your throne says, “My dwelling place is with humankind, and I will wipe away every tear” (Rev 21:1-4).
That is our desire, O Lord. To be in a world where you live with humans. Live with us in this world as we pass through it, and live with us in the renewed world when you recreate it.
I’m Daniel, on the channel “Pray with Me”.