But our citizenship is in heaven.
And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control,
will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.
Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV)
Recently I received my new passport. We are planning a brief trip out of the country and it is needed to enter the foreign country we will visit. I also assume it is needed to reenter Canada the country where I have my citizenship.
Every time I leave Canada there is excitement about the trip. Yet, when I return to the country of my birth, I have a sense of coming home. There is the sense of being familiar with my motherland, I know the language, I recognize landmarks, I know where to drive to find the house that I call home.
This morning I learned of the going home of a fine Christian young lady. For some time she had bravely fought the disease that ravaged her body. The battle concluded early this morning and she has departed for her real home which is heaven.
Her citizenship is in heaven and yet somehow it seemed hard for me to accept the notion that she had gone home. All of us seem to cling to this life with a superhuman strength. We take all the steps possible to keep from entering our real homeland.
It is appropriate to resist the enemy called death. I have willingly submitted to surgeries that have saved my life. I encourage others who have life threatening diseases to take advantage of all the options the medical community offers. I believe the Lord would have us resist death through treatment for our health issues.
Yet the time does come for everyone to realize that this enemy called death will no longer be prevented from visiting us. It says in Hebrews 9:27 (NIV),
“Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment”.
So we all have this “appointment” with death.
We need to have wisdom to help our loved one or ourselves accept the closure of our time in this world. Because of our Christian hope, we eagerly look forward as Paul says to our entrance into the land called heaven.
On one hand we resist the coming of death and on the other hand we “eagerly await a Saviour” as our verses today say. We feel this tension within to preserve ourselves alive, and also to reach out for the life to come. As your time, or that of your loved one, comes near, may you find grace to eagerly long for your real home, the one in heaven. May your grip on this world loosen in order for you to take hold of the world to come.