The longer I walk with the Lord, the more frequently I see Him purposefully breaking my ties with this world and strengthening my roots in heaven. Kevin recently had a conversation with our pastor. He had just learned that we don’t feel the Lord will keep us here long term (we love the people, but have very differing opinions regarding the practical aspects of ministry) and was wondering how we planned to put roots down here, knowing that we most likely won’t be here but a year or two more. I laughed a bit when Kevin told me, thinking back to our time in Louisville. I certainly didn’t think we would be there long and yet God allowed me bind deeply with several treasured friends while time never really mattered. But the more I thought about the question, I realized how “roots” are not top priority for the Lord. Look at the life of our Savior who said “”The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20). Hardly a statement from a man who laid down deep roots in a town! Deep and lasting friendships are certainly a blessing and we have a responsibility as ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ to pour out our lives wherever we live. But (keyword!), putting down roots here on this earth should never be our primary goal. And as I press on in knowing Christ, I see just how much God wants me to know this, so much so that He often allows trials to press in on every side…just so that I know, with all my heart, that my roots are in a new heaven and a new earth, the place Christ has gone to prepare for me.
This last week was a particularly difficult one. Someone we should be able to trust and respect completely floored us with his actions in such a way that left us feeling a wide range of emotions…anger, discouragement, pity, sadness, frustration. doubt. But once the flood of emotions subsided and God opened my eyes to see clearly, I recalled this truth:
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself. Philippians 3:20-21
This world, with all of its faults and hardships, is not my home! Hallelujah! Christ is coming for me! He has called me to pour out my life as an offering and sacrifice my personal desires and preference in order that He gets the glory so long as I have breath. But He does not expect me to put down roots here…He has granted me a far greater citizenship in heaven! What a difference this makes for everyday living. What a difference this makes when we meet trials and persecution. When we know that our roots are deeply planted in heaven and as we are empowered by the Spirit, we can endure hardships (and rejoice in our trials as James commands!) and even go a step further to genuinely love those who persecute us for the sake of Christ. There’s a calm assurance in the sweet promise of the One who loves our souls…”In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also: (John 14:2-3). Thank you my sweet Jesus…thank you.