(Did you know that April 14 is "Reach As High As You Can Day?" On this day, you are encouraged to stretch yourself and try something new and challenging. So, in celebration of this day, I reached out to a former student and friend, Anna Sager, and appealed to her to write today's devotional. After you read this, you will see she has the potential to reach the sky! Thank you, Anna!)
Heaven, My Home
Greetings from Alabama!! My name is Anna Sager, and I am about to be finished with my freshman year of college. It’s crazy how time flies! I’ve gotten to know a lot of new people this year, and one question I almost always hear is “So, where are you from?” and I always explain that I claim Texas because I was born there, but Tennessee is my home now. It’s been so fun to bond with people and discuss Nashville’s famous landmarks - and explain that not everyone loves country music.
Birmingham and Samford are beginning to feel less like my college town and a little more like home, but as many college students do, sometimes I get homesick. I miss eating dinner with my family and waking up in my own cozy bed. I miss knowing where everything is and seeing my mentors at church. I’ve realized that part of my identity is tied to my home, and the people there know me best. My home has made me who I am, and I am so grateful for that.
I’ve learned SO much academically and a lot about myself this year, but the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that THIS world is not my home - not any city or state. Yes, where I live now is where my physical home is, but I have the promise of a greater home in heaven with God. In Hebrews 13, the author is writing about the importance of loving our neighbors and those we come in contact with because that is our job here on Earth, and that in doing so we are helping to spread God’s love for us. In verses 14-16 the writer says, “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.”
I’m learning that my home in Nashville and/or Birmingham is great, but that my place in Heaven is so much greater. Here on Earth I struggle sometimes with feeling excluded and overwhelmed, but thankfully, God has prepared a place for me in His kingdom. He has taken away the pressure of this life with that promise, and I should be spreading His love and joy instead of worrying about the smaller things that seem to consume my time and energy on some days. God never promised that life here on Earth would be easy, and we will all go through challenges that test our faith, but He does give us the hope of eternal life.
This year I joined a sorority and on the last day of recruitment we have “Bid Day” which is when everyone receives their bids from their new group. A big part of bid day is running “home” to your new sorority sisters. Everyone is there together screaming and hugging and so full of joy because you have just gained so many new friends and have a new place to belong. I like to imagine that entering heaven will be a little bit like that. Everyone will be running through the gates of Heaven to be with God and be reunited with loved ones we have lost.
We have been given the gift of an eternal home, and that promise has been such a comfort for me. Of course I still love to go home, but knowing that I have an even greater home prepared for me someday - and that God loves me enough to welcome me there - fills me with a sense of peace!
Have a good week!! :)