Longing for home


Recently I've had the task of arranging the service for my mum's funeral. Dad had said that one of mum's favourite hymns was "Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer" (sometimes "Great Jehovah"), known to most people as the "Bread Of Heaven" song. Whilst looking up the lyrics online I came across one of two original verses which had since been omitted. The one which particularly struck me was this:
Musing on my habitation,
Musing on my heav’nly home,
Fills my soul with holy longings:
Come, my Jesus, quickly come;
Vanity is all I see;
Lord, I long to be with Thee!
Lord, I long to be with Thee!
What really gets me is that the hymn writer (called William Williams a Welshman, believe it or not!) brilliantly weighs up life here and life in heaven, and the result is a strong longing to be with Jesus. 
Over the past week I've been thinking a lot about John 14:1-6 (see below) for a talk I had to do. I've read those words loads of times over the years but after everything that mum's been through and all the grief we're going through, it's such a personal comfort and joy to know that she's now in the wonderful place prepared for her by Jesus. What's more I know these aren't empty promises about life after death from Jesus, but words spoken by the One who came from His Father's house to earth and who rose again from the dead. In other words, stuff from someone who knows what He's talking about when it comes to the afterlife.
And as I read these words of Jesus once again, I'm left like William Williams - longing to be there myself.
"Do not let your hearts 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. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." 

Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"  Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:1-6)