So, piggy-backing off of one of my previous posts, ‘On The Road Again‘, I want to share some things about home, or a lack of it. God taught me some pretty important stuff about what home is and such during out 3-4 months without one. I must warn you ahead of time, this might be a slightly long post, but I think it is worth it!
God Didn’t Promise Us A Home
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20 (NIV)
You see, God promised up many things. He promised us peace, rewards, blessings. He promised us trials, struggles, battles, and victory. He promised us the Holy Spirit, eternal life, and power. He promised us protection and provision. And God has kept all of His promises. But He never promised us a home. At least not on earth. We see this not only in the fact that He never made such a promise, but also in that so many of what we consider the greatest in Scripture spent large periods of time homeless. David spent a long time living on the road in caves and then, as king in battles. Abraham traveled all the time from place to place. Jesus Himself spent three years traveling with no place to call home- no home base for His ministry. Daniel spent years in a foreign land and culture. Joseph spent years in forced moving. God sent His prophets back and forth across the land speaking His words. Moses first spend forty years in the desert as a nomad, and than forty more years leading the Israelites around the desert. He sent the apostles (and us!) to all the earth, ans they were constantly on the move!
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NIV)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:19 (NIV)
Now these are easy words to spit out, and say flippantly, but were we in those situations, imagine how hard that must have been! You, go an spend three years traveling with no home, or forty years, or eighty. It is easy to question and wonder why being on the move constantly, and homeless because of the mold would fit in with our picture of who He is, and His promises of blessing; but we must remember that He never promised us a home. Not only that we don’t belong here on earth- our home is in Heaven; but also that He never promised us an earthy physical home. He promised to provide for our needs, and He will, but don’t expect a home in the exact human picture: a place where you belong, a little nest that is yours and yours alone. If He does, it’s a gift and luxury, but be willing and aware that God doesn’t always do that. 🙂
Israelites in The Desert
Okay, I also want to re-visit the Israelites in the desert again for a few minutes. They traveled in the desert for forty years. That’s a long time to be traveling! That’s a long time to not have a home. I mean, sure I always thought that it was a harsh punishment to have to spend forty years in the desert, packing and unpacking all their belongings so frequently… but before than, I had never stopped and thought about the mental and emotional burden that it must have been. I got a tiny taste (quite enough for me!) of what that meant during the last five months of my life, but to be in that for forty years?! That must have been so hard. Not knowing where you would be spending the next week, or night. Knowing that you had nowhere to go. And then they almost got to go home to the promised land, only to have it snatched out of reach by their own fear. Finally, though, they made it to the promised land. To Canaan! They were home! You cannot believe the relief it is to have a place that my family can call our home; but how much more must the Israelites have rejoiced! I wonder how much more, even than them, we will rejoice when we reach Heaven. How unimaginably wonderful that will be!
That makes me think of two things. A Scripture and a song. The song is ‘I Can Only Imagine’ by MercyMe. It talks about the joy and wonder of what it will be like in Heaven. And the Scripture is Hebrews 11: 13-16 (NIV),
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised;they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners 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.
Do you long for Heaven? I do. As wonderful and relieving as it is to be in our new house, I don’t feel like I can call it home. It doesn’t meet my expectations. Are my expectations too high? I don’t think so. Home is in Heaven. C. S. Lewis said,
“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”