I feel like I finally understand Paul, why he longed for Heaven... He was so far from home.
He traveled from place to place and never settled. When he left a place, he longed so deeply for the people he loved in that church. These were people he lived with, ate with, laughed with. He cared for their health, he knew their families, he prayed constantly for them. He made plans to visit, wrote them letters, and sent back representatives to encourage, correct, and bless these faraway brothers and sisters. (2 Tim. 1:1-5)
To be an apostle is to live bleeding, to love with a broken heart. No earthly city can ever be our home again. Like a candle, our life is snuffed out in a breath. Where will we shine?
We--as apostles--need to be okay with hurting, and never block out God, our love, or passions just because we miss and love so deeply. Instead, we press on, clinging to our only true hope: the future, where we will be with our Savior forever. No more goodbyes... (Phillip. 1:21-26)
...but wait, what about the rest? Shall we not strive to bring as many with us as we can? Are they not worth it? This us what kept Paul going, boldly proclaiming the good news of Jesus even through persecution.
How could we possibly say we love these people if we failed to tell them the truth about love? Yet the thought of countless more faces keeps us pressing on. Like Paul...
Through trial. Through pain. Through loneliness and abandonment. Through homesickness and longing. Striving for the hope that is waiting for us... All because of Jesus Christ.
We press on. We leave our comfort. Because of love. (Acts 26:28-29)