A Heavenly Aching

I realized that while I have a lot of favorite times of year, mid May is absolutely near (or maybe even at) the top.  

Everything is so green right now.  The spring flowers are rounding out their stunning show and the summer fields are not yet knee high.  The gardens are full of baby plants and hope and dirt dark with rain.

Yesterday we were driving to the strawberry fields and passed through rolling Appalachian hills that rival the Smokies (IMHO).  It was a wet day and the fog clung to the midst of the trees so perfectly it made my heart ache.  I’m getting choked up even typing this because I absolutely love this land that I’m from.  

I’ve gotten to travel to a lot of beautiful places and someday I hope to see more of this world, but Southeastern Ohio is my favorite. When I was an angsty teenager needing some space I would hop in my white Chevy Lumina and head deeper into the country, into land that years before had been transformed by strip mining.  I would drive and drive, finding the most interesting and remote places and would get out of the car and gaze before traveling on. 

My heart yearns for the country this time of year.  For a lush little yard in the middle of nowhere with an old picket fence around it.  In the deep country you experience the deepest beauty of creation.  

I don’t really want that in this season, though.  As much as my heart longs for that kind of beauty, I also am grateful to be close to friends, stores, and I’m glad Brad is only a couple of minutes away from work.  I love that my boys spent the afternoon riding bikes with their friends and that the girls have lots of pals on our street.

But I would be lying if I said my heart didn’t desire a little house on a big hill overlooking a rolling valley.  This time of year is so beautiful it brings a strong longing, and today as I was driving to pick up our fresh milk I admired the daisies just beginning to pop up in the fields and the phlox, pink and purple, in patches along the road.  I noticed all the colors of green in the trees and ancient rhododendrons in bloom by the old farmhouses and I longed for something that I don’t have.

I’ve realized, though, that my longing is really for beauty, beauty that only the Lord can provide.  Beauty that can satisfy my thirsty heart.  

I long for the beauty of heaven.  If Ohio is this beautiful in May, my heart pangs to think about how incredible eternity will be.  I think I feel a little like the writers of Hebrews when he said “Now those who say such things show that they are seeking a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”  Hebrews 11:14-16

While I want to be satisfied with earthly beauty, I know deep down that I will only be satisfied with more of Jesus.  Oh Lord, help my heart pangs to be only for you.

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