Dorothy may have been right – that may be true, but this statement begs the question – “Where is home?” Oh sure we have the bumper sticker/cross-stitch answers such as “home is where the heart is” or “home is where you hang your hat” or “home is a shelter from the storm” or “home is where you are” or even “you can’t go home again.” All this speculation calls me to consider the question – is home a place or a person? or perhaps both?
Jesus said this – “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.” (John 14:2-3)
Seems to me, according to those words, home is both a place and a person. Jesus is preparing a place for me, but not just any old place – it is a place where He is, a place where I can be with Him. There are a lot of homeless people in the world today, not just in the U.S. but around the globe. This is true literally, but I think the number of homeless people figuratively is much higher. Many of us spend our lives searching for a place to call home or trying to find our way home. Whether it’s where our heart is, or our hat is, or a loved one is – we long to find that place where we belong, that place where we are accepted just as we are, for who we are – that place where we don’t have to pretend in order to fit in – that place where we are valued – that place where we are loved unconditionally without measure – that place where we are sheltered from life’s storms.
Doesn’t that sound like heaven? I meant that as a rhetorical question figuratively, but it is actually true literally. All those things will be true in our heavenly home. Maybe that’s why it is so hard to feel at home here – because this world is not my home. God’s own word confirms this.
“But our citizenship is in heaven. and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables Him to bring everything under His control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body.” (Philippians 3:20-21)
So, I have the promise of a new, permanent, eternal home and of a new, improved and glorious body to go with it? This is really good news! To all the homeless of the earth, whether our search for a home is literal or figurative, we have hope. We have God’s promise to all who believe on His Son, Jesus, that He is preparing a place for us. Then Peter writes these words –
“Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us.” (1 Peter 2:11-12)
No wonder I never feel completely at home in this world – I am actually an alien and a stranger – my forever home and my forever family are waiting for me in heaven. This is the hope that sustains during darkest days and toughest times – there is a place being prepared for me – a place that I will call home forever. My search will be over and I will be home! It is an unshakeable inheritance, kept secure, as Peter explains –
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:3-5)
Abraham understood this whole homeless/searching for a home thing – he lived it. In Hebrews eleven I read his story –
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. . . . All these people were still living by faith when they died. . . . And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:8-16)
Imagine it – a city whose architect and builder is God! Remember it was Jesus who said -“I am going to prepare a place for you.” This is the home I have been searching for – a shelter from life’s storms, built on a firm foundation of faith. I realize now that –
“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)
Now I live as an alien in a foreign land. But my forever home is being prepared for me even now. I will not be homeless in eternity. I am headed for my forever home. In this home there will be room for my hat, my heart and everyone I love. I will have a large family of brothers and sisters dwelling with me. We will have no need of shelter, for there will be no more storms. Nevertheless, we will have a home in which to live together with great joy in the presence of Almighty God, the builder of our eternal home.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.” (Psalm 18:2-3)
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.” (Psalm 27:4-5)
“Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6)
sincerely, Grace Day ps. (related post – “headed home” at “mtothe5th”)