I heard a song once. I don’t remember all of the words, what it’s called or who sang it, but these few lines have never left me.
“I have never seen you, but I know what you look like. I have never heard you, but I know what you sound like. I have never touched you, but I know what you feel like, and I miss you….I am here, and you are not. When will you come for me?”
It was at the time I heard this song that I was in a very precious season of my life and my walk with the Lord. I was 20 years old, fresh away from home, in a 6-month program at the International House of Prayer, spending 6 hours a day in the 24/7 prayer room between the hours of midnight and 6am. My schedule was reversed, and crazy stuff was happening in my heart. My normal way of life was turned upside down, and my heart was being forever changed. During this period of 6 months, I found myself realizing that my heart was breaking. My heart was breaking because I kept coming face to face with the fact that Jesus is no longer here with us. I found that I deeply missed Him.
One early morning around 5:30am, as the sun was just beginning to rise and the sky awoke in the soft pastels of the breaking dawn, and endless highways stretched in all directions, tears began to fill my eyes in the backseat of my friends’ car. It was the first time I felt my heart ache because Jesus isn’t here with us. We need Him. The reality of the weight of humanity’s depravity and the reality of how far we are now from the way it’s all supposed to be, they just hit me, and my heart could only say over and over “I miss You, Jesus, I miss you.”
Upon realizing this, I began contemplating how it was possible for me to miss someone I had never met. I was not alive when Jesus walked this earth, treading the soil of the ground He created and breathing our air with the lungs He designed. I never got to witness His physical, tangible presence on the earth. So how could I miss Him?
…Right around the time I started asking that question was when I heard that song. And those lyrics were my answer. I miss Jesus because even though I’ve never seen, heard or touched Him, I know what He looks like, what He sounds like and what He feels like. I know Him.
How do I know Him? Because He came to me. He chose to reveal Himself to me. I encountered Him many times. Each time I saw a different part of His character, His nature. I found Him in the Word. I saw who He was between the lines of Scripture and found His heart splashed all over the pages. I had dreams, I saw visions. And He began to draw me near. He created a safe place for my heart where I could talk to Him, and He always listened. He talked to me, not just a few words here and there, but He actually really talked to me. He talks a lot, because He is full of passion. He is love. Love is passionate. Love loves deeply. Jesus came to me, and I saw, heard and touched Him, with the eyes, ears and hands of my heart, my faith. It’s possible and it’s not a fairy-tale. It’s real.
That’s why those words in that song resonated so deeply with me.
No one can ever convince me that my relationship with Jesus is not real. Why? Because it’s encounter and it’s personal. I’m not crazy, I don’t have a mental illness, I don’t hallucinate. Jesus is real. He makes the heart come alive.
I want to sing along as creation groans
The only song it now knows “I miss You”
I’m longing for the day when I see Your face
We’ll fellowship in time and space
I want to hasten the day
When You come back to stay
I miss You
I miss You
I miss You
Won’t You come home again
You said it’d be better that if You’d leave
Then You could come live in me
Yet the Spirit within me still it groans
For somehow together we know
There’s more to the story
So together we sing
When my faith becomes reality
And You’re standing next to me I’ll sing
I love You
At the dispensation of the fullness of time
All things made one in Christ
But for now I will sing, “Return”