Josh Steed's Blog
Author of "Faith & Football"

Homesick (for Heaven)

Do you ever find yourself feeling unsatisfied with life? Not just certain aspects of your life that aren’t what you want them to be but rather life in general. Do you ever have a feeling deep inside that longs to be somewhere else? Have you ever been at a party or an event when you should be extremely happy because all is well and everyone is having fun and for some reason something inside you knows that something is still missing in life? I have had those feelings for years and years.

Even after I gave my heart and life to Christ as Lord I still found myself longing for another home. I am not talking about my physical place of residence either. I can remember laying in bed at night in the warmth and safety of a nice home with healthy children filling the other 3 bedrooms. The bills were always paid on time and we weren’t “wealthy” but we had all we needed and more at times. I would be so joyful inside my heart just thinking about our lives and how God had rescued me and my wife from the lives we used to live when we didn’t know Him. I was indeed a happy man! Even so…I still found myself longing to be somewhere else. Somewhere in the presence of my Creator and I know this longing doesn’t go away with time.

My life has been turned completely upside down since December 2010 with problems within my family. I have endured some of the worst possible nightmares and yet here I am…still alive and still serving God with what’s left of my life. I haven’t written a blog in several months because it was too painful to try to inspire and help someone else when my own world was collapsing around me. I have turned down several radio interviews including one right before the Super Bowl. I cancelled speaking engagements and preaching opportunities too. I cried out to God and begged Him to comfort me and tell my why this was happening to me and my family. I felt like giving up completely and when I was having the worst night of my adult life, I opened up my Bible and began reading and weeping and I read the book of Job. Job lost everything and people talked bad about him and they accused him of doing wrong and he hadn’t done anything but serve God with his life. His own wife even told him to just, “curse God and die!”. His close friends accused him of wrong. His children were all killed and he lost all his wealth. Last but not least he became deathly ill and was in severe pain constantly. Job finally just told God that he was not going to turn away from Him and that even if God were to take everything he had away from him, including his very life, he would serve and love Him to the end.

After reading Job and looking at my situation I realized that I had the strength inside to keep going on and fighting the good fight till the end. I knew that even though I was watching my family fall apart I was still loved and God was still in control of my future if I would just learn to trust Him and praise Him in the storm. I had to let go of everything I had ever grown to love and adore and trust God to care for them and for me. It hurt so bad and was so scary to let go and trust God with my entire life but I had no choice and trying to fix the situation myself was futile. I knew that I was having a Job like time in my life and that God was going to have to see me through or I was never going to make it.

Here I am almost 5 months later and things are still not great for the family. I have lived through a nightmare for months and my health was in jeopardy too. I went to the hospital yesterday and had a scope ran down my throat to see why my throat was closing off so much so that I couldn’t eat anything without choking. Dr.’s were scared that I had a mass or some sort of cancer in my esophagus but it turned out to be swollen from stress and acid reflux. I got a couple of shots for the inflammation and some medicine to take care of the acid reflux and I will live to love another day. God saw me through yet another trial and I told my family all along that even if He wanted to allow me to die, I would never turn my back on Him and I would be faithful up until death.

As I start a new chapter on my life I am still homesick to be with my Creator but I know that I have work here to do. I know that even though it seems like Satan has destroyed much of my life and has definitely hurt my ministry and caused some to doubt my character, I know that I will prove the critics wrong by the way I live day-to-day. I am not giving up on God, my family, or my ministry. I will keep posting scripture and posting blogs to help others. I am going to speak and teach and guide people to Jesus Christ because He is my best friend, my Savior, but most importantly, He is my Lord! If God wants to give me a new family or if He wants me to suffer some more then bring it on! The point is, I love God with all I have and am on the inside of my soul. There is nothing in this world that will ever happen to stop me from serving Him faithfully. I know Satan won a few battles but I know who wins the war in the end and I am enlisted in His army and this soldier won’t turn and walk away anymore. If anyone needs me to pray for them or to encourage them in life then just let me know and I will pour out my life for God’s glory. My life may have been turned upside down but I am still alive, God is still on His throne, and He is still worthy of my praise because of who He is and all that He has done for us.

As each year passes I find my self thinking more and more about the future and what is in store for me, my family, and the world around us. I enjoy so much about life and just getting up each day and going through the routine that brings so many people into my life. I love spending time kids and just laughing and hanging out with them. I like traveling the nation to tell the masses about the love of Jesus that can change their lives. I like reading all the emails and messages I get from people across the country who have had positive things happen in their lives as a result of God using our family and ministry to lead them to a better life. I have enjoyed meeting NFL superstars along the way and walking in the college locker-rooms and meeting some of the greatest athletes in the world. I enjoy watching my kids get suited up in camouflage to go hunting with me and watching them get excited when a big buck steps out. I like watching my youngest daughter giggle with nervous joy as she rides a knee-board across Lake Degray in the summer. I love watching my 2 teens grow into godly young men and women who aren’t ashamed to take a stand for their beliefs even when it’s not popular to do so. I like watching my oldest daughter lead her basketball team to victory. I like seeing her twin brother catch a long pass and take it into the end zone during his high-school football games. I like seeing my middle daughter smile at me and squeeze me so hard I want to yell every time I see her. The list could go on and on with all the things in life that I love and that bring me joy but despite all of this…I am  still homesick.

I long to go be with Jesus sometimes and each day I find myself smiling and thinking about the glories of heaven and my hope of eternal life. I find comfort in God’s Word for me and a purpose for my life. Even though I want to be at home with my Lord I know that I have been left behind on this earth for a reason. I have work to do before I go home. There are people all around who don’t know Christ and who don’t have peace inside that I have found in Jesus and I know that it’s my job to try to point them in the right direction and to be an example for others. At times I feel like such a failure and a bad example for others to follow but I try so hard to live in such a way that others will not be hindered from seeing Christ in my life. I am far from perfect and I have sin in my life that haunts me each day but that sin is something that is fighting a losing battle because God is still at work in me and He is chipping away the flaws in my life. He provides me with guidance and love when I don’t know where to turn and He gives me strength to keep pressing on and to finish this race in a worthy manner. So my encouragement to my readers is this: Just because life sometimes gets bad and times get so bad that you just want to cry or even die, just remember who died for you and who is waiting for you in heaven. We have a God of grace and forgiveness if we will only turn from all the known sins in our lives and surrender it all to Him as Lord. He never promises that bad things won’t happen to faithful Christians but He does promise that He will be with us through the storm. So if you are in the middle of one of life’s storms right now, be encouraged and don’t give up. Try praising God and reading the book of Job and He will see you through the pain. Thank you for taking time to read and God bless you all!

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