by Adam Howard
Content Coordinator, CBN Europe
We were made for eternity. In-built within us from the moment of conception was the everlasting home with God. It has been hidden in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Whether we choose to acknowledge that deep cry or not, we would struggle to argue that there is a longing within for something greater.
As a patriotic Welshman, I find there to be a strong call within for my nation. There is something about the very soil of the place that draws me in. It can be in the mountain ranges of Snowdonia or the rugged west coast, but still my heart seems to be fuller when my feet are home.
There is a Welsh word that speaks so beautifully of this inner longing; Hiraeth. It is so rich in its meaning that it is difficult to really translate it into a single, one-to-one English word. According to the Urban Dictionary,
“Hiraeth is a longing for one’s homeland, but it’s not mere homesickness. It’s an expression of the bond one feels with one’s home country when one is away from it.”
This longing for, a deep resonating with home is mirrored in our spirit. I believe that we experience this feeling of hiraeth as Christians. We have within us a deep cry and yearning for eternity. It’s why we have that feeling of home when gathered together in His presence in worship. It is the reason why our hearts sing when, like the ancient bards, we come around the word of God, sharing the truth of its pages to one another.
We long for what is ahead and live our lives in such a way that draws others to their true home.
When we decided to follow Jesus, our heritage, bloodline and citizenship changed. We no longer belong to this world but become citizens of heaven. In other words, Heaven becomes our homeland. That changes everything; perspective and posture. Psalm 42:1-2 (AMP) puts it like this;
“As the deer pants [longingly] for the water brooks, so my soul pants [longingly] for You, O God. My soul (my life, my inner self) thirsts for God, for the living God. When will I come and see the face of God?”
You are part of a glorious kingdom. You belong. You have a home. Heaven waits for those who call upon His name. He prepares a place for you and is ready to welcome you home.
In the meanwhile, we long for what is ahead and live our lives in such a way that draws others to their true home. We live such attractive lives that we become ambassadors for Christ and His kingdom here. Speak of your homeland often; sing songs and read poetry from heaven; leak the gospel through hospitality and generosity.