Homesick for Heaven


Originally published in ByziKids Magazine, August 2022

By Judith Jolma


Hot tears ran down 11-year-old Kolbe’s face as he sat curled up beside his mother. “I want to go home,” he whispered. Kolbe and his family moved across the country a year earlier leaving behind a church family that was as close to heaven-on-earth as one could hope in this life.

Although his family moved to a lovely new home and settled into a new parish blessed with love, beauty and many children, it was not home to Kolbe. He missed the friends he’d known since birth, the familiar hymns and the long Sunday afternoons spent building stick forts in the woods behind the church as his parents laughed with their friends on the back patio after Divine Liturgy.


Kolbe’s friend Lucy moved away at just about the same time, and also aches with homesickness. “I never realized just how deeply these children loved each other,” Lucy’s mother said. “While all the parents were having our own little party each week, the children were sharing life with each other and growing up together.”


While homesickness causes deep aching and sorrow, it is a common experience for all Christians who long for their ultimate home - Paradise.


We are told that after the Fall Adam sat outside the gates of Paradise weeping for his home for the rest of his life. Abraham journeyed his whole life seeking a home promised by God. And Moses wandered in the wilderness for 40 years along with the children of Israel leaving Egypt seeking a home promised by God.


In the Epistle to the Hebrews, there is a beautiful passage often nicknamed “The Hall of Faith” because it contains a list of patriarchs who wandered this life like pilgrims “looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10).


If you take the time to read about these great patriarchs, you will see how often the Lord gives them a little glimpse of that Kingdom they are seeking and that little glimpse is enough to set a fire in their hearts so that they never turn back from seeking it. Abraham “rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it,” Jesus told the Pharisees. The Patriarch Joseph received dreams that kept his faith alive. To Moses, God showed him the promised land from a mountain top. And Apostles Peter, James, and John witnessed the Transfiguration.


As Jesus stood on Mount Tabor with Moses and Elijah shining in their glorified state, the apostles were amazed and didn’t know what to say or do. All they knew was they wanted to stay there forever: “Lord, it is good that we are here,” Peter blurted out. “If You want, I will make three tabernacles here: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah,” (Matthew 17:4).


But Jesus did not show the Apostles His glory and a glimpse of the promise so they could stay there or have the fulfillment immediately. He showed it to them so they would have strength through difficult and confusing trials. You see, just after the Holy Transfiguration, the religious leaders in Israel would begin seeking to kill Jesus and soon they would. The Lord knew that after his ascension, the apostles would be hunted for the rest of their lives and would have to give their lives for the testimony of Christ.


That glimpse of eternal glory on Mt. Tabor must have reassured the apostles often that the sufferings of this present age are not worthy to be compared with the glory of the eternal home they were seeking.


Sometimes, like little Kolbe, Lucy, and their families, we have seasons in life where we get to bask in the glory of friendships and beauty, but then the Lord calls us away to a more difficult season. We can let those glimpses of glory keep us homesick for heaven, to remind us that we are seeking a kingdom beyond this world where we will love one another with perfect love, glowing in theosis for all eternity in our divine kingdom.

 

As a contributing editor for ByziKids, it is my pleasure to share these articles with the Sophia Homeschool community as well. Although Sophia Homeschool serves all homeschooling families regardless of faith or affiliation, I think you will enjoy this delightful publication. I hope to share these articles with you monthly as a regular feature here. Enjoy!


ByziKids Magazine is a pan-Eastern Christian, grassroots, monthly publication dedicated to the celebration of Byzantine Orthodoxy through the eyes of our children. We are not affiliated with any particular Church or jurisdiction, but welcome and strive to encompass the teachings and traditions common to all of Byzantine Orthodox-Catholic Christianity.

 



By Judith Jolma, Founder of Sophia Homeschool.

Sophia Homeschool teaches parents how to homeschool. Learn more about our training at Sophiahomeschool.com


Learn how to create a homeschool method and environment based on your family's needs so you can thrive. My Foundations of Homeschooling Masterclass teaches parents to work with their budget, schedule, learning style, teaching style, and resources so each member of the family has his or her needs met— including yours! Learn to create a peaceful and joyful learning environment that lasts a lifetime. Identify learning differences and adapt your educational plan accordingly. Unlock the mysteries of teaching multiple grades at once. By knowing what your needs are, you will save thousands of dollars, time, and energy on methods that do not work. We will end homework battles and restore your relationship with your child.

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