‘We are citizens of Heaven.’ Philippians 3:20 NLT
Every year Pacific salmon, having lived five to six years in the ocean, suddenly get the urge to return to the headwaters of their birth river. Battling fishermen, bears, and giant hydroelectric dams, they fight their way upstream determined to reach their home. Scientists don’t know how the salmon make their way back to the exact river in which they were born after being in the ocean for several years. Some think it’s because they can taste or smell the fresh water from their river. Others think they may use the stars to navigate. Regardless of how they do it, we know they don’t use charts and compasses; their journey is intuitive. They have a longing for a particular river, and it can’t be satisfied until they find it.
That’s exactly how it is with us. God created us for Heaven, and nothing in this life will fully satisfy that longing (see Ecclesiastes 3:11). Just like those salmon—we’re in this world but we’re not of it. Yes, we find joy in fulfilling the assignment in life God has given us, but it’s nothing compared to the joy that awaits us in Heaven. Paul puts it this way: ‘We are citizens of Heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Saviour. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own, using the same power with which He will bring everything under His control.’ (Philippians 3:20–21 NLT) And as your redeemed loved ones leave to go to Heaven, your longing to join them will only increase.