Don't get me wrong. I think that hoping for His return is something we should all be doing...however, I was longing for His return to get me out of a situation before I learned the lessons that He wanted me to learn--before He finished the refining process. As I've experienced His healing, I do want to see Him. Now, it is mostly because He has been so close and precious to me--although I have to admit, the no more tears and pain part is still pretty attractive to me. ;)
With time, I'm acknowledging the fact that if I'm still here on earth, it's for a purpose. He wants me here, so as I wait for Him, I should be about the business of LIVING. Dietrich Bonhoeffer has some great stuff on this concept. In his book, Bonhoeffer, author Eric Metaxas quotes a letter Bonhoeffer wrote to a student who had recently become engaged to be married:
Disclaimer: While I respect the institution of marriage, I'm not trying to hint that marriage is what I'm looking forward to on this earth...Bonhoeffer's quotes that apply to accepting our time on God's earth just also happened to be in regard to marriage. :)
“As earthly human beings, we have to take account of an earthly future. For the sake of this future we must accept tasks, responsibilities, and joy and sorrows. We need not despise happiness simply because there is so much unhappiness. We should not arrogantly push away the kind hand of God because God’s hand is otherwise so hard….May God also prepare you through this divine kindness to bear again the divine hardship if necessary.”Also this quote from a letter Bonhoeffer wrote to his fiancee Maria:
Metaxas goes on to clarify where Bonhoeffer is coming from by stating: "Bonhoeffer was constantly trying to correct the idea of a false choice between God and humanity, or heaven and earth. God wanted to redeem humanity and to redeem this earth, not abolish them." Later he continues to clarify Bonhoeffer's position by saying, "...the 'desire for earthly bliss' is not something we steal from behind God's back, but is something He has desired that we should desire."“Our marriage must be a ‘yes’ to God’s earth. It must strengthen our resolve to do and accomplish something here on earth. I fear that Christians who venture to stand on earth with only one leg will stand in heaven on only one leg too.”
I love that God understands our earthly/human desires...I love the thought that in the midst of a world that is evil and dark, and even as we anticipate Christ's return, we can have moments of happiness ordained by our Heavenly Father...as we learn to say "Yes" to His earth.