I started my job at the university four months ago, and, for the most part, I have no complaints. I am thankful for the Christian atmosphere, familiar surroundings, and proximity to family. However, there is one situation in which I struggle for contentment.
I just want my own apartment. I dream of buying furniture and decorating the walls with photographs. I desire the joyous struggle of “adulting.” I long to eat meals on the Fiestaware plates that currently rest in a cardboard box. *
But for reasons I cannot understand, God has not permitted me to leave home. I think of many logical ways that I could move out, but none of these plans are practical. In my weakest moments, I stare at the sky and think, “Why, God? What terrible thing would happen if I lived on my own?”
My dream has been deferred, and I am discontent.
Spiritual logic tells me that when I finally move into my own apartment, I still won’t be content.
Why? Because I still won’t be home.
The author of Hebrews wrote,
“This world is not our permanent home. We are looking forward to a home yet to come.” (Hebrews 13:14)
As long as I am on earth, I will be plagued with divine discontentment. I was made to live in perfect fellowship with my heavenly Father, but down here, our relationship is hindered by sin. Despite my best efforts to appease the discontentment with furniture, photos, and Fiestaware, I am a stranger in this country.
And as a stranger, I have a struggle that has been eloquently articulated.
This world is not my home; I’m just passing through….I can’t feel at home in this world anymore. (Jim Reeves)
It’s an inexplicable, unquenchable longing.
I’m kind of homesick for a country to which I’ve never been before. (Squire Parsons)
It’s a dream that has been deferred, but not denied.
Heaven is the hope that we hold onto. Heaven is the promise for me and for you that all we really are is passing through to something better. (Matthew West)
In His sovereign way, God is teaching me to redirect my discontentment. Rather than selfishly complaining about my earthly home, He is teaching me to long for my heavenly dwelling. I don’t want mediocre pleasure on earth; I desire perfect eternity with Christ.
My Father is in Heaven. I am a stranger on earth.
*This post is not intended to be a pity party or a search for your sympathy. I am sharing a lesson that God is teaching me, and I hope that we can all learn to direct our discontentment towards eternity.