I was visiting with a small group of people when I heard a man’s voice as he entered the store. Although I knew it wasn’t my father, his voice resembled his and tears instantly streamed down my face. This spontaneous reaction took me completely off guard.
Circumstances have made it such, that the last time I saw my parents (and daughter, son-in-law, and only grandchild, for that matter) has been roughly 2 ½ years. The man’s voice triggered a tsunami of emotions that overtook me completely by surprise. I wiped my eyes with the sleeve of my sweater and awkwardly explained to the bewildered group what had caused my tears.
“Homesickness” is a funny thing. It can come upon you when you least expect it and if you don’t control your thoughts you can even “catch” it before you and your loved one have even parted. This is what happened to the disciples.
Jesus’ time with them was coming to an end and they had their “booboolips” hanging out. “Don’t let your hearts be troubled.” Jesus tenderly told them “Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am…” John 14:1-3 NLT
It wasn’t long after this that Jesus was taken up and disappeared into the clouds. I’m sure the disciples were no different than us and stood there waving until He was completely out of sight. In fact, we are given hints of that very thing. We are told angels came to comfort them.
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go! Acts 1:11 NLT These words were both meant to be a comfort and a safeguard.
Earlier Jesus had given instruction about His return. “…Take heed that no one deceives you… I have warned you about this ahead of time. So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes.
For us homesick children of God when the “true” Jesus returns there will be no mistaking Him. “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.” 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 &17
Although the man’s voice sounded like my father’s I wasn’t deceived. As soon as the group dispersed I quickly found a quiet spot and called my father. The tears that were close to the surface flowed freely down my face. The real voice of my father came clearly across the speaker on my phone. “I sure love you,” he said.