This picture was taken in New Zealand, the beautiful country which I have never left. It was just such a scene as this which I gazed upon as I returned from a family reunion in Wanaka at the end of 2012. Wanaka is in Central Otago, a dry, tussocky place, like the one shown here. After two days of fulfilling the Newton family motto, “If you’re not eating, you’re not having a good time,” my coastal eyes were homesick – for the sea.
As we drove down the Waitaki Valley (and yes, it might help if you looked this all up on Google Maps!), I felt an aching tug in my heart, because I was going home.
However, as I thought this over, I realized that where I was headed was not actually my home. Instead, this moment served as a picture of heaven, that far-off country which we cannot see. It was a reminder of that fact of my heavenly citizenship.
Whenever I see a striking part of God’s creation like this one, I see it as a glimpse and a shadowy picture of heaven. These moments come and go, but the knowledge of living where I do not belong does not.
The longing to see my home in Oamaru was soon replaced by a stronger one, that of waiting for the return of Jesus in the clouds, and our ascension into heaven. Only then will we truly be at home. Because, after all,