Longing for a Heavenly Country

by Melissa Moore

Do you ever have those days that you just feel sort of disillusioned by life? I mean, most of the time I feel content and satisfied with my life. After all, I have an incredible job that I absolutely love and an amazing family that I adore but every once in a while I get this nagging and empty feeling that something just isn’t quite right. I’m not talking about the kind of day when you are plagued by an argument you had with a good friend or family member or even the kind of day when you’ve dropped your car keys one too many times. I am talking about the kind of day when nothing in particular is wrong but, still, there is an overwhelming restlessness deep down in your soul. Then again, perhaps I am the only Christian who still experiences disheartening days when, in the midst of so much, I can’t figure out what is missing.

I think that this struggle may be due to the tension between living in the midst of an already but not yet kingdom. The tension of living in an already but not yet kingdom is not just theological in nature, for it plays out in everyday life experience. In one sense we already experience the realities of the kingdom of God but in another sense we still wrestle with the flawed kingdom of humankind. For example, we have been set free from the law of sin and death and so no longer have to carry the burden of guilt or the fear of everlasting punishment. Sometimes, however, the “not yet” nature of the kingdom is overwhelming. For all practical purposes we still fear physical death even though we know that we will rise with Christ on the final day to reign with him forever and ever. We still mourn, even though we now do so as those who have hope for final resurrection. We can rejoice in the liberating freedom that we have now in this life because of our forgiveness of sin and our identification with Christ. At the same time, however, we long to be rid of the sin that plagues us individually and the sin that plagues our world on an everyday basis. Though we have been fully redeemed, we have not yet experienced our redemption in full.

So I guess what I mean is that, even though I know full well that I am called to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ on this earth since the kingdom has not yet been fully consummated, every once in a while my soul is just flat restless. As I was reading Jesus’ farewell discourse to his disciples this morning (John 13-17), I couldn’t help but feel their pain. After washing his disciples’ feet, Jesus all at once tells them, “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come” (John 14:33). This is brutal news for the disciples who had spent countless mind-boggling and miraculous days with God himself! But Jesus, the ultimate comforter, then tells them, “Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you…I will come back and take you to be with me” (14:1-3). I don’t know about you, but even though I love my life and feel burdened to continue spreading the good news of the gospel, I can’t wait to see the place that Jesus has prepared for us. I can’t wait to see heaven opened with all its brilliance. And, most of all, I can’t wait for the presence of God to finally be with men; I mean, for him to actually dwell with us!

Sometimes life is just plain hard and it seems that the suffering switch has been turned on to the highest degree. Other times we are puzzled by relationships or difficult job circumstances. And, then, there are other times that something just feels a bit off deep down in our hearts. Nothing in particular has gone wrong. Maybe it is quite the opposite. Maybe everything has gone right and that haunting, restless feeling still lurks behind and mocks us! What is that about? Aren’t Christians supposed to be content in every situation? Joyful at all times? I find it interesting that the same man who urged us to be content and joyful in every situation also told us that he struggled with desiring to depart and be in the Lord’s presence. Though he found it necessary to press on and do the Lord’s work on earth, he said, “To live is Christ and to die is gain…I am torn between the two” (Philippians 1:21-26). Maybe it isn’t so bad, then, to recognize every once in a while that we are truly longing for a better country, a heavenly country, one that is being prepared for us by the nail-scarred hands of the resurrected Christ.

Let us hold fast to the promise that we will reign with King Jesus, in perfected, holy, and unblemished resurrected bodies, forever and ever in the new kingdom and let us rejoice that our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).

“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come”
Revelation 4:8.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.


200 Responses to “Longing for a Heavenly Country”

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  1. 51
    Betsy says:

    Melissa, thank you for articulating what my soul has been feeling. Surrounded by loving family and blessings beyond words, I still feel that void, a feeling of separation. I am learning to understand what that place of emptiness really means and to not feel guilty for recognizing the natural longing to be in the presence of my Jesus.

  2. 52
    Deb says:

    Hi Melissa!!

    What a breath of fresh air to read your post today.Thanks for sharing your heart and Gods word to help encourage us all.

    I have to admit that I struggle with that at times too. But when I feel like I’m getting bogged down by it. I pray, read Gods word and then dream about our lives dwelling with our Creator. When ever I do those three things,the result is like a spiritual I.V. 🙂

    I wonder if part of your restlessness (not that your looking for a reason why….)comes from the fact that you all just got back from a beautiful, refreshing, family time in Gods wonderful creation in the mountains. It’s like you can’t hardly experience that kind of majesty without it inspiring thoughts of heaven. WOW!!! How much more AMAZING it will be to see all that our Father has for us! I can hardly wait some times!!
    Come Lord Jesus!!! 🙂

    Blessings to you and to all at Living Proof. Keep up the tremendous work.
    And Thank you Father for giving us such a multitude of witnesses for encouragement, love and support You are ABSOLUTELY GENIUS!!!

  3. 53
    Anonymous says:


    I so needed to see this post today. I have been wrestling with some similar feelings. In this season of life, I find myself searching for a “new normal”. Nothing is the same as it was a year ago. I lost my Mom in December, and lost my husband in January. Now, I am 40 years old, and find myself trying to raise my 3 babies all by myself. In just the past few weeks I have started emerging from the “fog” that I have been walking around in for the past 11 1/2 months. The Lord has been so tender and merciful. But, now has come the time for Him to move me in a different direction… time as I said to figure out what that new “normal” is and at times I am terrified, at times excited, and at times extremely sad and at times I have an incredible sense of longing… for things to be right. They seem somewhat “amiss” even though they are not. So, I understand what you are saying. Thanks for the post!

    Terri in Alabama

  4. 54
    Teena says:

    And so we set our hearts on pilgrimage, going from strength to strength until we finally see our God face to face.

    Thanks Melissa. I’m so glad you’re here.

  5. 55
    He Knows My Name says:

    so well put melissa. some days i am an alien and some days i am a naturalized citizen. my heart is prone to wander Lord i feel it.
    i want to be true, faithful to my God and it is not going to happen in this skin of mine.

    now i have a dad in glory. he just went home on the 17th. i hope he meets you grandpa. they would get along fabulously (read about my dad on my blog). and my prayer is just that: come Lord Jesus, come quickly.


  6. 56
    Donna says:

    Thank you for sharing this today…I am right there with you girlfriend and some days it just hurts…for no apparent reason! And you want to know why…but you hear God say it’s ok the way it is right now! And you know you’re supposed to “keeping on” but it feels futile! Restless is the perfect world. You are not alone! Thank God we can be together on this blog…I rarely post…but I feel so connected here…Thank you!

  7. 57
    Anonymous says:

    Amanda…I am going to try commenting anonymously and see if this works.

    Everytime I comment here, I get a “delivery failure” comment for the lproof hotmail account.

    I was wondering if anyone else has this problem? Just thought I’d mention it.

  8. 58
    jennyhope says:

    Amen Melissa. I have been feeling a gnawing, and nagging at me lately and I told my friend today that some days it just comes down to my hope is in heaven and that this is not my home. Thank you so much for this post…i get you. I long to be made complete. 🙂 Thanks girl!!

  9. 59
    Honea Household says:

    I have those kind of days too but never understood what the restlessness was from. I think I realize now, though, after reading your thoughts, that I do long for something much more than this foreign world. This isn’t home to us. We are foreigners. Thank you for your honesty. Love ya!

  10. 60
    Kim B. says:

    You described perfectly how I’ve been feeling for so long. I haven’t really understood why I still feel a little off kilter, but you said it perfectly. There’s nothing in particluar wrong right now, just that deep restlessness! I agree, Come Lord Jesus! But until then give us your Grace!

  11. 61
    Corrie's Blog says:

    P.S. What you wrote Melissa is exactly what your mom’s prayer devo was about today…I just read it….awesome! 🙂

  12. 62
    Margaret says:

    I was just responding to a dearly missed friend’s email and coming to some of the same conclusions about leaving friends, and change. (I have recently moved from beloved friends and ministry to women, to a new state. I am in a lonely waiting room of sorts.)
    If our hearts didn’t long for something more, I fear we would grow so comfortable here! I have learned that to long is to truly live the kingdom life. Oh for the joy of fullfillment that will one day be ours when we see Him and know even as we are known!
    Yes and Amen, I join you in saying: Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
    May the Father tenderly touch your heart, Melissa.

  13. 63
    Angie says:

    I’m adding my Amen too. Thank you for expressing so beautifully what so many of us experience. I have recently been thinking along the same lines.

    And your beau – is it Colin?? – he’s a cutie. Congratulations.

  14. 64
    MiPa says:

    This is absolutely beautiful! I live a long way from my native Texas and I told someone just yesterday that I never get homesick. But that isn’t true…I get homesick for the kingdom to come that I can’t quite see yet, but long for. Thank you for expressing those feelings so well.
    ~MiPa in England

  15. 65
    amy says:

    Timely, timely. Thank you and amen, sister, for expressing what has been hard for me to put into words or even understand.


  16. 66
    darla says:

    Melissa, I go through this often..and you said it beautifully. We live under the curse of Gensis, but we are blessed..it causes a struggle in us that will be over when we walk on with HIM, or HE comes back. I call it, “homesick for heaven”, or just wanting the promise, that I know one day I will get. Life is hard,but God is good.

  17. 67
    Little Steps Of Faith says:


    I am SO glad you are starting to post here:) I know you are a few years younger than me, but girl, I really learn from you:)
    I KNOW exactly what you mean, but thankfully lately, its been a little bit better for me; I mean I am sure that is only temporary, but when your sole focus is on the things God wants your focus to be on, then its not so much of a spider web(I am reading Job in Disciple this week.)-
    I am 27yrs, and I am about to write for my church’s 10yr anniversary how God has changed my life through His love in the church, and I am speechless; I wish I could just take my tears and put them in a jar on display, because that is where you’ll find my words:)

    Anyway, great read girl:)

    Have a great day, and keep writing!

    Be Blessed:)


  18. 68
    sammie says:

    Melisa your thoughts reminded me of this piece of music from Ali Rogers,”Tanzania” From The Day of Small Things CD “Someday I will wake in a body that won’t break on ground that doesn’t shake. Not here. Someday I will live in a house that’s built by hands that hold the world”

  19. 69
    Jenn says:

    Melissa.. i totally understand what you are saying. When we remember that we are in a spiritual battle it also puts a whole new persepctive on things. as we are reminding that not only are we going to inherit the kingdom, but we are going to win the battle! As I living here in south Asis serving Jesus there are morings when i wake up with a cloak of heaviness all around me for no reason.. then i remember.. we are in a battle here! But our kingdom and our knight in shining armor jesus ultimatatly wins!

  20. 70
    Melissa says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. I know exactly how you feel and have been there A LOT lately. It’s just when things don’t seem right, like something is missing. And no matter what you don’t feel content. Thanks for some comforting reminders from the Word.

  21. 71
    Cheryl says:

    I have been reading your Blog for a while and just learned how to post a comment it is not hard at all :-).
    thank you for all of your inspiration

  22. 72
    runner1 says:

    I also thought I was alone in those thoughts!! I do long to be with Christ each and everyday. However, the one reason I have to continue life on this Earth is to see my family saved as I am. Thank you for your thoughts and God bless!

  23. 73
    Holly DeAnn says:

    Thanks for yet another perspective, i just did day 59 in Jesus the one and only devot. and it was talking about the very same thing. That we are to be ready. As a single adult (never married) the story your mom shared at the end hit me, “to live in such close involvement with Him that all we lack is seeing Him face-to-face.” WOW !!! I desire that in so many ways!!! Thanks for another view into a waiting game, espec during a hectic season that we are loosing our perspective in just to get things “done”. God Bless.

  24. 74
    Cindy Beall says:

    Wonderfully written, Melissa. Thank you for sharing your heart for it is the cry of mine. I recently wrote on my blog that I’m experiencing a “dissonant heart”. Your words resound within me and I appreciate your vulnerability. Press on, sister, and I’ll do the same.

  25. 75
    Susan B. says:

    Melissa, Thank you for your reflections. I had a day like this the Friday after Thanksgiving. My husband kept asking me what was wrong, and I told him nothing. It was like you said – a beautiful day with a wonderful family. But something just did not feel right all day long. Our souls are torn between two worlds. So, we look to the One who is King of both! Our Comfort and our Hope – Jesus, the King of kings and Lord of lords.

  26. 76
    Anonymous says:

    SO GOOD, MELISSA! Keep them coming!

    Sarah TN

  27. 77
    Mariel says:

    AMEN!! AMEN! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!!

  28. 78
    Missy says:

    What a great post, and just what I needed this morning.

    Thanks for sharing your heart!

  29. 79
    Kari says:

    That is so perfectly described, I totally grasp the “Not yet kingdom”! And I echo the “strangers in a strange land” comment! so true

    I have a 15 year old daughter who is so struggling with understanding the suffering of the world. I know she has been called as an intercessor, but it is so overwhelming when you are so young and the big world is so overwhelming. Could you guys please pray for her.

    The horrific “baby Grace” Riley case has her so obsessed, and torn up, that it is so hard for me to help her. I wish I could just give her my understanding, but I know she has to pound it out herself.

    Bless you guys and thanks for sharing the deep things of God!

  30. 80
    TheFiveTaylors says:

    I always read the blog page but have not responded until today but you described exactly how I feel many days. I wondered if any one else felt it so powerfully. My life is wonderful. But I yearn for the new heaven and the new earth and eternity with my maker. I have been studying sermons from a pastor there in Houston named Dr. Aubrey Spears who teaches on the ‘New Kingdom’ topic very richly. I also read Randy Alcorns book on it but it was a little over my head most of the time. I wish you all would consider writing a study on it so these longings would be more widely and easily understood. It is not taught much in the church but the more I learn about heaven and the new earth, the more completed my faith feels. I can see the whole picture and knowing the end makes the walk here more barable, crossing over a little less intimidating, and our kingdom work here a lot more urgent. Thanks for your ministry–Paula

  31. 81
    Gayla says:

    This post was timed to my spirit’s crying out this morning. Thank you, dear heart. I am in the valley this fall…. just a valley with the Lord, so that should be okay.

  32. 82
    Lindsey in Louisiana says:

    As I ponder your comments realizing that I, too feel the same way often in my Christian walk, I am reminded that perhaps that nagging, uneasy feeling is but a taste of what lost people feel most of the time. Thank you Lord for reminding me that my life has not always been joyful and there were many moments that I felt plagued by uneasiness. Lord, now I realize it was because I was walking way outside of your light. I pray that the Lord will continue to remind us what “that” feels like so we can help others learn how to find true joy and peace that only comes through the Son and His Father. Thanks, Melissa for being so candid.

  33. 83
    Anonymous says:

    Dear Melissa and all,
    Thanks to God for all of you. I enjoy reading the posts and recognizing the various friends(for that’s what you are) yet I hope you understand if I don’t enter a name. I’m in a postition of ministry and right now things are very rough there and in my family. It’s such a gift to be a part of this loving community. Your post about longing for heaven reminded me that as hard as life has become lately, I also had those feelings years ago when my children were around me and life seemed more innocent somehow. It’s still true that “God is good all the time; all the time God is good.” He is so faithful to speak in the middle of lonely difficult days in ways that are unbelievably creative. It’s His Presence that counts, isn’t it?!

  34. 84
    barbarahead says:

    Oh, Melissa, I thought that it was my age (64) that made me feel this way but now I realize that all Christians probably have these feelings from time to time. If we did not want to know what Glory looks like, I think we would be kinda “weird”. When I was young I thought “Jesus, don’t come until I am grown”. Then as I aged I thought “Jesus, don’t come until my kids are grown”. Now as I reach the “medicare age” I think “Jesus, don’t come until I see my precious grandchildren grown”. But you know what, Jesus will come when the Father leans over and says “Son, go get my children, the time is right”. Oh, how I long for that time.

  35. 85
    Sheryl says:

    I have been that way for several days. I couldn’t put my finger on it–what was wrong. Thank you so much for articulating my thoughts. I am so grateful for your family. How you have enriched my walk with Christ.

    Thank you.

  36. 86
    Melana says:

    Thank-you Melissa, Thank-you. One of the things I have learned over the past couple years in your mom’s studies is, I’m not alone. This longing is SO real isn’t it? We press on toward the goal. Glad you’re in the race with us!

    Melana in Wyoming

  37. 87
    Amanda Geidl says:

    Thank you for speaking such truth. Our suffering switch has been on for four months–straight. We sense God is using this as a time of transformation. I have a picture of the bride trying to get into the wedding dress…she needs to shed a few pounds before the BIG DAY. My few pounds are coming off–albeit painfully–and I’m seeing progress in my own growth (thank God!!! I want to get this lesson right the first time!). Praise God for your perspective. Press on!

  38. 88
    Cristie says:

    Bless you dear Melissa! Yes, I know that feeling. Some days we are just “homesick for a country to which we’ve never been”. The Holy Spirit living in us knows that country. Your thoughts remind me of the Christ Rice song that says “I just want to be with you. I want this waiting to be over…” Ain’t it just the truth?!
    In Him,

  39. 89
    Rose says:

    WOW, I’m had that and even go trough dry seasons, where I’m in the word, and worship but just feel.. . .blah! I can’t even find words to describe it, but you did it so well. You’re going to be a wonderful writer one day, you and Amanda are truly gifted! Thank you so much for sharing with us!

  40. 90
    Nicole says:

    I wonder if I am the only one who struggles with wanting to be with the Lord, and desiring his return, but also praying, “Lord, wait just a little longer” as i have so many loved ones who do not yet know Him. As much as I want to experience a life without sin and I want to see Jesus return, I have a deep burden on my heart for those I know who are unsaved, namely most of my family.

    On a great note, I believe the Holy Spirit is drawing my mother in a very real way and I have true faith that I will see her saved in God’s timing.

    Thank you, Melissa, for this great post, lots of meat to chew on.

  41. 91
    Kathie says:

    I too have been living these past 18 months with the tension between the now and the not yet, working through the truth about abuse in my past. I believe that even though as believers our intimacy with Christ is what fills us and helps us to cope with this tension, there is the fact that now we see through the veil dimly. It is what creates our longing for the “not yet”… being with Him. I can’t wait!

    Until then we groan,

  42. 92
    Nicole says:

    I’d also like to share that it took me a few weeks to allow the Lord to really do the work i my heart and mind, but the post about putting away music that doesn’t honor God did influence me, and I finally last night did the “weed out”. It was hard for me because, as I said in a previous post, not growing up Christian my tastes are very opposite of what is available in Christian music, so I struggle to find music that I like both for it’s God-honoring lyrical content and the musical content. But I realized last night that I would rather have three or four cds I listen to over and over that encourage me to meditate on God’s goodness, than a bunch of garbage htat just puts my mind in the gutter. Thanks, ladies, for being an encouragement in that.

    Also, I am discovering Gospel musicians like Kim Burrell and finding there is good music out there that lifts God up while I’m getting down. 🙂

  43. 93
    annie says:

    Yes, Melissa. Emmanuel-the God with us. You put it so beautifully–our hearts long for that Day when we see no longer dimly as in a mirror, but face to Face. Thank you for the reminder of this promise.

  44. 94
    Sister In Christ in Fort Smith says:

    Melissa, I too at times have that restlessness and longing deep in my soul. I think that deep down inside us, our souls know where we belong and who we belong to and thus the longing that overwhelms us at times, that we can’t explain. Praise His name, it won’t be long until we’ll all be with our creator.

  45. 95
    Emily says:

    Yes. Come, Lord Jesus. Come.

  46. 96
    Cassandra says:

    It makes me feel so good to know that I am not the only one feeling this way. Thank you so much for sharing with us and being so open.

  47. 97
    Anonymous says:

    So here I sit, precious Melissa, with tears streaming down my face AT MY DESK. Perfect. I know the feeling, I absolutely can not wait for the return of our Lord. So much so, that whenever conversations turn toward things of retirement or old age, I inwardly think how silly it all is because I’m convinced my Jesus is coming back any day! I just know that I and my dear husband and our sweet children are all just going to be raptured up any minute! AND I CAN’T WAIT! But until that comes, we press on sharing the gospel with those who have not yet believed and been pursuaded. Oh yes, Amen, Come Lord Jesus.

  48. 98
    Marla Taviano says:

    I’ve always had this nagging feeling that I don’t fit in. I used to think it was because I was weird (or moved a lot). Then a few years ago, I read something by Randy Alcorn and had an aha! moment.

    I don’t fit in because I don’t belong here. This isn’t the place I was ultimately created for. Some days I just don’t deal well with the “present vs. eternity” tension.

    Trying to live each day to the fullest while keeping heaven at the front of my mind.

    Thanks, Melissa! (cute boyfriend by the way…)

  49. 99
    all2hisglory says:

    I couldn’t agree more. That deep longing persists as we press on… yes, come Lord Jesus!
    in Him,

  50. 100
    Anonymous says:

    interesting thought about the transcending spririt from “shalom”

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