Nothing Is More Often Misdiagnosed Than Our Homesickness for Heaven

I believe that nothing is more often misdiagnosed than our homesickness for Heaven. We think that what we want is sex, drugs, alcohol, a new job, a raise, a doctorate, a spouse, a large-screen television, a new car, a cabin in the woods, a condo in Hawaii. What we really want is the person we were made for, Jesus, and the place we were made for, Heaven. Nothing less can satisfy us.

Mark Buchanan puts it well in his book Things Unseen:

Homesickness—this perpetual experience of missing something— usually gets misdiagnosed and so wrongly treated. . . . All our lives we take hold of the wrong thing, go to the wrong place, eat the wrong food. We drink too much, sleep too much, work too long, take too many vacations or too few—all in the faint hope that this will finally satisfy us and so silence the hunger within.

. . . Here is the surprise: God made us this way. He made us to yearn—to always be hungry for something we can’t get, to always be missing something we can’t find, to always be disappointed with what we receive, to always have an insatiable emptiness that no thing can fill and an untamable restlessness that no discovery can still. Yearning itself is healthy—a kind of compass inside us, pointing to True North.

It’s not the wanting that corrupts us. What corrupts us is the wanting that’s misplaced, set on the wrong thing. If we don’t understand that—if we don’t understand that God has set eternity in our hearts to make us heavenly-minded, we skew or subvert the yearning and scatter it in a thousand wrong directions.

But the cure for our yearning and our restlessness is not to keep getting more. . . . The cure is to yearn for the right thing, the Unseen Things.

. . . We are metaphysically handicapped. This is not so much a design flaw as a designed flaw, a glitch wired into the system, a planned obsolescence.

. . . This shaking, unslaked desire in me is a divining rod for streams of Living Water. . . . He put in me, in you, a homing device for heaven. We just won’t settle for anything less.

Browse more resources on the topic of Heaven, and see Randy’s related books, including Heaven and The Promise of the New Earth.

Photo by Rachel Claire

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries