I took my daughter, Kaitlin, with me this bright, sunny Saturday morning and drove to a rummage sale at our church. Years ago my dad pastored a church in town which grew and moved to a new building on the highway, which grew after he left under the leadership of the new pastor and moved to where it is now. So many of the familiar faces are still there smiling, long-time friends still involved in that congregation.
I saw several of these friends today, two in particular who are especially dear to my family and fun. Whenever I see them, wherever it is, I get a sense of home. They know me, they know my family, we love each other, they’re still faithful friends.
A few months ago when we first talked of possibly moving away Kimmi remarked that she won’t know where “home” is. We’ve moved several times since she was born and recently have been more in a temporary mode. There’s no particular house that feels like home. She told me, now that college is out for the summer and she’s with us for a few weeks, that the other day when she drove back into town where she goes to school to go to work she felt like she was home. It’s because of the relationships she’s grown this year, the closeness she feels to those friends and that town is where it happened.
There’s a saying that home is where the heart is and that’s true, although it sounds a little cliché. In this time of our family’s life when each day is a walk further into unknown territory, I’m finding it especially important to draw near to my husband, my girls, my friends, and especially Jesus. I may not know where we will end up, but I can still be “home”.
We may walk through times when our faith is stretched so thin we fear it will break. We may press on through times when challenge or hardship stings as a refining fire. We may face times when walking is out of the question and all we can do is sit in emotional exhaustion and wonder what God is doing. In those times we need to be reminded that we have a home in God. Not just with Him, IN Him. He promised to never leave us. He may not remove us from hurt sometimes but He is right there in it with us. Our home in Him is forever and always available. I think of Shadrach and his brothers, living in exile far from their homeland, who were pitched by an angry king into certain death in a furnace for standing up for their faith. While they stood in the flames, those watching saw someone standing with them in the scorching heat. It was Jesus. In a foreign land, in impossible circumstances, even in hot fire, they were “home” because God never left them.
Optimistic people grow weary of looking on the bright side sometimes. I grew weary today. After stewing about it a bit and talking with my mom, okay and crying some, I decided I need to set my mind on God, my Father. He is faithful and steadfast. He is a strong tower to keep my heart safe. He is my provider and my strength. He is my refiner but also my friend. He loves me. He knows me and understands. He is so patient. He gives, listens, guides, and loves. He loves. He loves. My Creator, Savior, Sustainer, my Hope. How I need and crave His love. How my heart aches to be near Him. I can’t press in close enough.
No wonder I never really feel settled in this world, my home won’t ever really be anywhere here. It’s in God and He’s always with me – everywhere, for all time.
I love this song about being home in God: