May 15, 2017
For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. – Hebrews 11:10
In 1983 our family got a letter inviting us to the American Embassy in Bucharest, Romania. About six years before that time, my parents had filled out an application to come to the United States. It did not take long for us to pack our belongings, and the next September we arrived in Los Angeles, California.
We did not become United States citizens right away. First, we were given resident alien cards so we could stay in the country, but we were not actually Americans. There was a process to become a citizen, and it was not easy. After living in the country for five years I could apply for citizenship, and I remember the day I went to do that. I left my house at four in the morning, waited in line with hundreds of other people downtown, only to be told I had not brought the right information with me! After my application was accepted, there were more requirements. Among other things, I had to be a person of good morals, have a favorable disposition toward the United States, and pass a test demonstrating knowledge in reading, writing, and United States history.
When the day came that I finally became a citizen, I was so happy. There were about ten of us there, and we affirmed that we would stand by this country no matter what. We were granted privileges, such as the right to vote, to obtain a passport, and to help family members emigrate from our home countries. It was an exciting day.
Citizenship in the United States comes with many benefits, but consider the privileges of being a citizen of Heaven. Even though we are not there yet, we are citizens of the place God is preparing for us. Because we are His people, we have promises that He will be with us, will supply our every need, and will hear and answer prayers. Governments have many regulations for immigrants to meet, but it is not that way with the Lord. When we come to Him in repentance and forsake our former life, He welcomes us into His family. And what an exciting day that is!
Like Abraham, we are looking “for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” For now we are foreigners in a strange land, but one day we will arrive at our home, where our peace and joy will be eternal.