As you look forward to opening yours or maybe heading back that way for Thanksgiving, I know “home” is a place that stirs up a variety of emotions and expectations. More than a location, a collection of possessions or a structure, it is a unique place of safety, identity and belonging – it’s family. Sitting at the crossroads of cozy familiarity and sweet memory, it tugs on our heart to always draw us back to that intersection. It has an uncanny ability to overcome time and distance and bend all roads so that they gently slope toward its front door. It is both the launching pad for incredible possibility and a welcome sanctuary for renewal.
However powerful the attraction in this life, we who are in Christ, know that this world is not our home. What began in the heart of God will, one day, see the safe return of His sons and daughters to their eternal home in heaven. If we are honest, this present reality and our future hope creates a holy tension between our deep sense of belonging here and the knowledge that “here” is only the starting point, not our final destination. The beauty is found when we see the divine purpose and eternal significance God bestows on our earthly homes and families which heaven makes possible.
Perhaps we can all benefit from the apostle Paul wrestling in the Spirit with this same tension and writing down his convictions for us:
“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live. Knowing this, I am convinced that I will remain alive so I can continue to help all of you grow and experience the joy of your faith” (Philippians 1:21-25 NLT).
Shouldn’t this be both our heartbeat and that of our homes? Shouldn’t we choose to live for Jesus for all the days He gives us here in our earthly home and yet be driven by a holy homesickness to see Jesus face to face? Shouldn’t we no longer live for ourselves, but for Jesus, and by His design, help others flourish in faith and joy?!
Yes, one glorious day, we will open our eyes to a sight we’ve never seen and yet one that will be more familiar than any place we’ve ever known. Listen to the voice of hope growing clearer day by day and you’ll hear Jesus saying, “Welcome home! Come and see the place I’ve prepared for you!” But for now, as we open the door of our home, may all those who enter be welcomed by Jesus in us and feel the embrace of a love with endless possibility.
Spread the Word!
© 2016 Tim McKenzie
On Every Word Ministries