Wandering in the wilderness and journeying to the Promised Land is a major theme in the Biblical story. It wasn’t just the people who were freed at the Exodus for whom this applied. Throughout the narrative of God and his people, the theme of being on a journey is prominent. Those who were exiled in the 6th century BC longed for their native land. And even those who returned, never quite felt like they had truly made it home and so looked forward to a new exodus through a messianic deliverer.
Followers of Christ still long for our new home, our true home in the renewed heavens and the renewed earth. In the meantime, we’re left in limbo – content to be here, but longing for something more. The essence of this feeling is captured in a little known poem called A Little Bit of Longing. “And on this earth, this globe, this round ball, spinning round and round. We’re not just travelling round in circles; we’re headed for higher ground. A renewed city, a renewed country, renewed heavens, and a renewed earth – From the shell of the old creation, a transformed creation will come to birth. Though I hope for that bright future – new roots, new soil, and a new home. I’m left in limbo at the moment, content to be here, yet longing still to roam. So living here and living now – living – and yet never quite belonging. This cross-cultured existence will always leave me with a little bit of longing.” - Shay