Living here is uncomfortable. I’m not talking about my apartment or my car or my classroom. I’m talking about here. On Earth. Despite the best efforts of 21st century appliances and tech, we’re still uncomfortable. Something feels off. Wrong, even.
Pain is ubiquitous in this world. It’s inescapable. Death surrounds us. We, as a culture, have both a fascination and horror with death. It feels so final to us. So permanent. So wrong. So we consume hours of tv shows that surround death. Death of characters, characters who investigate death. We try to make sense of it. “Oh, that character had to die to advance the plot line. That makes sense.” Or “They had to find the killer to give the deceased rest.” Bizarre, isn’t it, that we vainly try to make sense of death. That we somehow think our actions here can benefit the dead.
This world feels terrible at times. War, discrimination, inequality, sex trafficking, child pornography, suicide rates, mass shootings, drunk driving, poverty. Everywhere we look this world oppresses us with its evil. And pain and fear drive the actions of humans. At times, in our sinful bodies, it drives us. It’s uncomfortable.
But we don’t belong here. We are not of the world. We are not stuck here forever. We don’t belong here. As believers, we feel this every day. We feel the horror this world has to offer and we feel that something is wrong. It is wrong. So wrong.
You see, we’ve been redeemed. Jesus has saved us from this broken, hurt, weeping, sinful world. Living here feels uncomfortable because this is not our home. In our lives on Earth, we will fulfill our God-given purpose. In addition to the pain, we will experience healing, redemption, and worship of our Creator.We even get snippets of His greatness through nature and the beauty of other people. And we crave more. And it’s uncomfortable.
Someday we will stand in the true presence of an almighty creator. The One who created beauty from literally nothing. The One who looked at a broken, sinful, terrible world and chose to love it, to cherish it, to save it. As unworthy as we are, this is where we belong: in heaven with the Alpha and the Omega. We belong in Heaven with Jesus, who paid for our sins with His body and His death. The sins that created this broken, hurting world in the first place. He was forsaken that we might be saved. He will someday fully redeem the earth, give us new bodies, and allow us to be forever with Him without the pain of this world. Discomfort and death will be gone. And we will finally be home.
“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us…Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control.” -Philippians 3:14; 17-21, bold added)