I’m Just A Pilgrim (In Search Of A City)

My favorite songs are not among the top 40 hits.  Most of them aren’t recent releases, weren’t written by popular artists, don’t deal with hot topics in our culture  In fact, some people might even think the theme which runs through my favorites is rather disturbing.

I like “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “Sweet By And By,” “Face to Face,” “This World is Not My Home,” “This Ole House,” “What A Day That Will Be,” and “I’ve Got a Mansion.”

Yep, I like to sing songs about going to Heaven.  Now you’re thinking, why did I start by saying that the theme is disturbing?  Actually, it’s only disturbing to those who hear me talk about how I can’t wait to get to Heaven.  I’d be willing to give up everything on earth – family, friends, future (which by the way means a lot because one of my fondest dreams is of raising children with my future spouse) – I repeat, I’d be willing to give up everything and go to Heaven this very minute if that’s what God wanted for me.

I think my preference in songs comes from an understanding that I don’t belong here.  My allegiance is no longer to this world, to the things in it.  I’m a pilgrim headed for another land.  That’s the theme of I Peter, and when you think about it, Peter knew all about being a pilgrim.  He had walked with Christ himself; Christ, who had no home here on earth (Matthew 8:20).  Sure, Christ grew up in a house that he could have called home, I’m sure there were plenty of friends like Lazarus, Mary, and Martha who would have been glad to have Jesus call their house his home, but Christ had a home in another land.  Should I be worried about my home and my stuff and my shortsighted dreams when I have a mansion in glory land that’s been prepared by the Master?

I think of another song, “It Is Well With My Soul.”  We sang it in church only this morning, and the last verse goes like this:

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul!

I sing that verse with my whole heart behind it.  Some could tell you that I have a tendency to be hasty about a lot of things, but this is one area where I think being in haste can be appropriate.  I’m in haste for Christ to call us home.  People in my circles have been saying for years that this generation will see the rapture — that sounds great to me; I’m perfectly willing for it to come today! 

Now while that shouldn’t sound strange to my fellow Christians, I’m afraid it sometimes has.  I know others who feel as I do that have also gotten perplexed reactions to their joy in “death.”  We’re not anxious for death.  We’re happy about life after this world.  Death has little meaning for the Christian.  It’s simply a transition from this life to the next, and since the next life is so much better, it shouldn’t be surprising that we are in haste to make the change. 

I’m not saying that death isn’t sometimes painful, but it shouldn’t be frightening, and it is not lasting.  Death should frighten only those who have never met God and been transformed by the power of his love.  Christ defeated death when he died on the cross at Calvary nearly 2,000 years ago.  If you have trusted in Christ and given your life over to him, then you can say with Paul the Apostle, “O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?” (I Corinthians 15:55, KJV). 

Another thing I’m not saying is that I am in any way, shape, or form planning to take matters into my own hands.  I’m in a hurry to be with Jesus, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to go directly against his will and kill myself.  Suicide is self murder, and besides the amount of grief it causes those left to pick up the pieces, suicide is a way of saying to God, “I know better than you when I should die.”  I sometimes act like I know better than God, but I’m too squeamish to ever go that far!

I have taken hold of the promise of Heaven.  I can’t wait to be with God forever.  You’d think that more Christians would understand the longing to be with God, in his presence.  If we love someone, we want to know all about them, want to imitate them, want to be around them.  My desire for Heaven grows out of this love for God.  I know God is still teaching me many things here on earth (by virtue of the fact that he still has me here), and I understand that I’m not ready to walk those streets of gold, but that can’t stop me from longing for that glorious day when I see my God face to face!

Explore posts in the same categories: Music, Theological Musings

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One Comment on “I’m Just A Pilgrim (In Search Of A City)”

  1. […] Sometimes I feel like a Pilgrim myself.  The rest of the time, I know I am one!  The two epistles that Peter wrote talk about the Heart Pilgrim.  As a Christian, I am a daughter of The King, and someday he will call me home.  That’s why I do not find it strange that I am drawn to the songs about heaven (check out post here). […]

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