I’ve been thinking lately about anticipation. We anticipate a lot of things in life — holidays, vacations, seeing people, the end or beginning of something, a yummy birthday cake. 🙂 We plan, prepare, get excited about, and look forward to so many wonderful blessings from the Lord.

Another subject that’s been on my mind lately is sorrow. No one goes through life without experiencing sorrow and suffering — from the death of a loved one to health problems to relational conflicts to sin — we all experience difficult things in our lives, big and small, that cause our hearts to feel pain and sorrow. It’s part of living in a sin-cursed, fallen world.

Now anticipation and sorrow are two very different things. But as I’ve thought about these topics, they’ve driven me to the same place: the return of Christ.

I don’t know about you, but if I were to be honest, I’d have to say I don’t think about Christ coming back or long for His return very much. And that makes me sad. I’m thankful for the circumstances – happy and sad – that God has placed in my life in order to draw my attention back to my precious Savior and His second coming. As I anticipate seeing good friends, my summer vacation, time with family … I am reminded of how much more my heart should long to see Christ. How can I cultivate a heart that is full of affection for Jesus? Spend more time with Him, read His Word, focus my thoughts on Him, pray for the Spirit to increase my love for Him, read good books (like Seeing and Savoring Christ by Piper), listen to songs that point my thoughts in the direction of Christ, the temporary state of this world, and Heaven (Jeremy Camp’s “There Will be a Day,” Casting Crowns’ “Glorious Day” & “Praise You in the Storm,” Chris Tomlin’s “I Will Rise,” and Jimmy Needham’s “Hurricane” to name a few). Just as any relationship takes time for love and affection to grow, so does our relationship with Christ. And how can I expect my heart to long for Him if I’m not cultivating affection for Him?

How does sorrow make me long for Heaven? He will wipe away our tears, death will be a memory, faith will become sight, sin will be conquered. Can you imagine seeing Jesus face to face? Can you imagine a relationship with Him that isn’t tainted by sin? Can you imagine relationships with others where sin isn’t in the way? It blows my mind!

I want to be a woman who longs for the return of her Savior. I want to be like my mom, who says with complete genuineness and sincerity and tears in her eyes … “I just want Jesus to come back.”

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