“Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent…
…Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him,
and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:9-10,14-16)
It can be so easy to get caught up in the here and now; the temporal and temporary world so pressing in our eyes it is hard to imagine another one.
But things change; things fall apart. Your home might not be what you want it to be, whether that be in its physical structure or be that the relationships that exist within its walls. Or maybe it’s everything you ever hoped and dreamed for, and then the dream abruptly comes to an end.
I have ALWAYS longed for rooted-ness. A sense of belonging to a specific place. Like many people, I hate change, and being a homebody by nature, I become very attached to inanimate things like houses. You should have seen how misty I was when we said goodbye to the condo we sold earlier this year.
But even then, I was thinking of this house. This house with the garden beds where I spent hours this summer weeding and wondering, praying and pruning. This house with the lilac bush so large it shades the whole back corner of our house, and kept our bedroom cool during our first summer without air conditioning. The house without the dishwasher, where I was sure all my minimalist dreams would become a reality, and where I’d never let the dishes pile up. This house with the too-small-dining-nook; because really you can’t call it a room, but we made it work with a custom live edge bench with a local artisan, and even though it was tight we always found a way to make a little more space for gathering around the table.
But the earth began shifting beneath my feet, and it seemed like my dream might be coming to an end. A day or so after that began to sink in, I was crying into the dishes again. And as I stood there soapy sponge in one hand, cleaning what may have already been a clean dish for all I knew with the tears clouding my vision, I heard that still small voice whisper; This isn’t really the home you are longing for.
And as the tears fell faster down my cheeks, I knew it was true. That the beautiful things here are only a foretaste; a shadow of the things that I am really longing for. A shadow of my one day, forever, eternal home.
Where I will be with my loved ones who have gone before me. Where there will be endless seasons of joy after endless seasons of joy with no suffering or sorrow in between. Where our work will be holy, and our King of glory will himself be with us and will be our light. Where we will all be one family; the church. Where we will see the Kingdom of God for what it really is, and realize how much better it is than we could have ever imagined.
He has gone to prepare a place for us. He is a God of hospitality; first in his creation of the world and the garden of Eden when it was in its perfection; then as the creator who came and extended a portable hospitality to us in his life, death and resurrection; and finally, as the King, our husband, who is building a house for his bride, and when it’s time, he’ll bring her home.
So in every thought we have about home and hospitality, we must remember this; that the home we are truly longing for is not on this earth. As C.S. Lewis so wisely said;
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
My desires for a place where I can live and dig deep, and never move is not necessarily wrong; but it might be misplaced if I assume I’m “supposed” to have that here.
I must make the LORD my dwelling place. For in Him “there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17) When I feel like the earth is shifting beneath my feet; when I feel like I don’t have one single solitary solid place to stand, He never changes. I can trust in that. I can rest in that.
Someday, we’ll be well and truly home. The home we have always been longing for, but never found, even in the most perfectly beautiful of places. And that my friends; that is going to be a really great day.