When you hear the refrain, “There’s no place like home”, you may think of Dorothy repeating it over and over in The Wizard of Oz movie; however, I am reminded of my dad. He often quoted the phrase when either contemplating or returning from a trip. I sometimes felt he had it backwards, for as a youngster, I loved the allure of adventure and new experiences and often felt sad to head back to the same old place and routine.
Yet the longer I have lived, the more I understand where he was coming from. Like many of us I assume, I have lived in various houses throughout the years. Some were old, some new; some tiny, some sprawling; some that required lots of elbow grease, and some that just needed a touch. Yet for a time, each was “home”.
Home is the place where I am surrounded by “my people” - my family, my church, my friends, my neighbors, my community . . . It is the place where I know others and am known. It is the place where I am the most myself with all the good, the bad, and the ugly, so to speak.
Home is that place where my favorite music flows, the little pot on the windowsill makes me smile, favorite scripture verses adorn the walls, a book friend waits for me on the bed stand. Special photos smile from the frames. It is my spot on this planet where I have cultivated a bit of beauty. It is where my animals wag their tails and come to me for care and affection. It is where I sleep the best. It is full of memories including hardship and joy. It is where I envision happy times to come.
Last week I went on a little two-day getaway with a friend. We celebrated by exploring some new places and revisiting old favorites. It was refreshing to be away from chores and daily routines. It was special to stay in a 100-year-old home and be served up a scrumptious breakfast. No cooking and no clean-up made for two happy gals! It was a delightful gift of fun and friendship from the Lord.
It sometimes surprises me how being away for even a short time, brings me such a sense of joy, anticipation, and contentment in the coming home. When I arrived, my dog raced across the front lawn to greet me as if he hadn’t seen me in a week. He looked extra handsome bounding across the green grass. Martin was out finishing up some mowing and I was glad to see him and thankful for all he does for all of us. My bed felt heavenly and I slept like a log.
I realize that home is not always what we wish it were. Home life can pose difficult and heart-wrenching challenges for short seasons or possibly long ones. God allows such times, I believe, to test our faith and grow our maturity, assuming we allow Him full reign within our heart. Our homes are certainly not exempt from the trials of this world. For as Jesus Himself told us, “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Reality is that some have experienced happy, pleasant, Christ-filled homes. For others, the word “home”, brings thoughts and feelings of disappointment, fear, sadness, anger, or neglect. Sometimes home is a healthy and safe place and in other times or seasons, it can be just the opposite.
I love the fact that for EVERYONE who has chosen to be a member of God’s family, through a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, THIS WORLD IS NOT OUR HOME!
Whatever our earthly home has been like, God Himself is preparing a heavenly home for us. John 14: 1-3 tells us:
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
I cannot begin to fathom the unspoiled HOME God has prepared for His own, but I love dreaming about it and looking forward to it. Just to ponder such a place with no tears, only joy and beauty, excites and thrills me. Some of my people are already there . . . of course, Jesus Himself, my dad, grandparents, friends . . . those I SO look forward to seeing! Just thinking of spending eternity with those I love dearly in the most glorious place imaginable makes me realize that there truly is no place like HOME! Praise God for the amazing gift of an eternal home to anticipate, which is available to one and all.