Published March 1, 2011

Paul's Epistle...
"Homesick"

I'm kind of homesick for a country
To which I've never been before
No sad good-byes will there be spoken
For time won't matter anymore.1

Have you ever been homesick? I love to travel and see new places, although our busy schedule allows precious little of it. But no matter how much I enjoy the journey, I'm never sorry to get home. As they say, "home is where the heart is."

The other day I was listening to some songs on the radio and then later auditioning some songs in the studio, and as I listened to the words in these Gospel songs I had an overwhelming feeling that could only be described as "homesickness" – a longing for that place "to which I've never been before." It's a theme found in countless Gospel songs.

All my life I've heard them talk of heaven
It's a place where loved ones live while ages roll
And it's been many, many years since sins forgiven
And I'm just a little homesick to go.2

On our broadcast this coming weekend, you'll hear Libbi Stuffle of the Perrys say that she rarely, if ever, watches the news on TV – because it's all so depressing. (She and my wife, Shelia, are soul-mates along those lines.)

But it's true. If you ever really want to get depressed, just watch the national news. If you were paying attention over just the past week or so, you would have been treated to such nonsense as this...

Troublesome times are here
Filling men's hearts with fear
Freedom we all hold dear
Now is at stake.
Humble your heart to God
Saves from the chast'ning rod
Seek the way pilgrims trod
Christians awake.3

Are you nauseated yet? Our leaders endorse sodomy, baby-killing and all manners of perversions, thumbing their noses at God's moral law — and at God Himself!  And that's only a very abbreviated list.

If you and I get indignant about such things, how do you think God feels? You've heard it said that if God doesn't soon punish this nation for its sins, He'll have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. Oh, but how gracious He is. Only the Lord's amazing grace has stayed His return so far. But, as Scripture plainly reminds us, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). But, really, it can't be long now.

See the bright light shine
It's just about home time
I can see my Father standing at the door
This world's been a wilderness
I'm ready for deliverance.
Lord I've never been this homesick before.4

Don't let what you see happening around you depress you. Remember always that God is still in control. He hasn't changed His standards. Sin is still sin, but forgiveness still applies for all who seek it (John 3:16). God's promises still hold. Keep your "eyes on the prize." "Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.." (Heb 12:1). Hold on, Jesus is coming!

"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).

Now the twilight is fading, the day soon shall end
I get homesick the farther I roam.
But the Father has led me each step of the way.
And now I'm going home.5

I'm homesick. How about you?

- Paul

1. "Beulah Land," Squire Parsons, Kingsmen Publishing BMI
2. "Homesick To Go," Ronny Hinson, Songs of Calvary BMI (as sung by Jason Crabb)
3. "Jesus Is Coming Soon," Robert E Winsett, R. E. Winsett Music SESAC
4. "I've Never Been This Homesick Before," Dottie Rambo, John T. Benson Pub. ASCAP
5. "Going Home," Wm. & Gloria Gaither, Gaither Music ASCAP

Comments on this? paulheil@thegospelgreats.com

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