He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” Revelation 21:4-5
Who would have known? In 1977, my wife and I packed up our stuff and moved to Germany. It wasn’t a sudden urge we had—it was courtesy of the Air Force. When we had been married about seven months, we received an assignment to move to Europe. We were excited about moving there, but also realized Germany was 4,657 miles from everything that was familiar to us. We were off on a great adventure, without cell phones or internet!
We loved it. Our part of Germany was filled with history and beautiful landscapes. Rich forests and small hills and mountains framed every view. And honestly, it was a little like home. While it was true that the local folks spoke a different language, there was enough English sprinkled around that we were able to get by. We even learned a little (and I do mean a little) German to help. We drove our cars on the right side of the road, just like home (unlike the Brits), we could drink the water just like home, we had stores kinda like home, and we even had a church…just like home. But it wasn’t…home.
Throughout the three years we were there, we would celebrate when it came time for friends to “ship” back to the United States. Our church even had a special song titled, “Goodbye, World, Goodbye” that we sang every time someone left to go back to the states. They were bitter-sweet moments. We would miss them, but we knew where they were going. They were going home.
There was one thing that we would do, every once in a while, to remind us of home. It might seem strange, but it wasn’t to us. Germany was a place of great food but once again…it wasn’t home. I found out that not many Germans eat grits. Imagine that. But they did share one thing that was purely American—McDonald’s. Located downtown in a large city, not too far from where we lived, was a McDonald’s very much like ours back home. And when we could afford it, which wasn’t often, we would go and have a taste of home. Each bite of the burgers and fries said, “Remember home.” Each bite said, “This place is good but remember, it’s not home.”
Well, one day it was our turn to go…home. It was our turn to hear, “Goodbye, World, Goodbye” and know it was for us. It was our turn to leave there and go home and as soon as we were home, we knew instantly that while “there” was very good—it wasn’t home. Home was better. Home was home.
Jesus followers need to remember that very important truth—Home is better—Home is home. This world is good. We enjoy life with friends and family, and there is a McDonald’s on every corner. But what used to remind us of home now reminds us that we are not there…yet. Even with all its warts and imperfections, God has done a great job providing us a temporary location to live out our days, but remember, Home is going to be—better. The Bible tells me that Heaven is a place where there is no more pain, suffering, sickness or sorrow. No hospitals, no nursing homes, and no funeral homes. Simply put—the former things are gone, and everything will be new. Home will be better.
I know I speak for Judy too when I say that our time in Germany was three of our favorite years together. I also know I speak for her when I say home was, and home is, better. Life here is good but one day, it will be my turn, your turn, to find out that Home is better. When it came time to leave Germany and go home, the Air Force paid for our ticket and I am glad to let you know that our ticket to Home is paid for too—by God’s Son, Jesus Christ. All we have to do is accept it and when we do—life here gets better and Home is thrown in. When we accept it, we find out that God loves to give us a “McDonald’s” or two, here and there, just to remind us of Home…to remind us that till we get there, He is with us and that at every turn, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne