Home Wherever You Go

Whether you’ve lived in one city or a dozen, you always have a place to belong.

So where are you from?” It’s an innocuous question. Ask my husband, and you’ll be treated to an idyllic description of a 200-acre farm an hour south of Atlanta—a place filled with dogs, cats, cows, horses, goats, and honeybees. For me, it’s a bit more complicated. You see, I grew up in 12 different cities in three separate states, never staying anywhere for more than two years. And while it’s made me an incredibly efficient mover (and kept me from hoarding), it has come with some drawbacks too, including the fact I’ve never felt I belong anywhere.

I have mourned this feeling more than once and wished I had a place to call my own—land that spoke to some deep place in me, a house where I knew every creaking board and stain on the wallpaper intimately. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see that my rootlessness has some advantages as well.

For one, I’m not beholden to a single bit of the gorgeous green and blue planet that God crafted for us. I can love and steward its beauty without being bound to it. I’m also used to a certain degree of ambiguity in my life, which enables me to jump into a situation with both feet and little to no hesitation. So even though I don’t know exactly what the future holds, I’m okay with the mystery, the blank space in my mind’s eye, the what if of it all. I suspect my eternal home will be breathtaking beyond my imagining, a place where God will dwell among His people forever (Rev. 21:1-3). And what could be better than that?

In his devotional God’s Purpose for Your Life, Dr. Stanley writes, “God’s plan for you is not just building a kingdom here on earth but getting you and others ready for the heavenly one that is to come.” Notice, he doesn’t say that building a kingdom here on earth—having a home you love—is a bad thing. God’s plan “is not just” that; it includes something greater, grander, and altogether more mind-boggling than we could ever fathom.

But the lifetime between this home and the one that is to come isn’t a desolate, lonely space of years. Remember Jesus’ promise in John 14:23: “If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him.” While I may long for an earthly place whereI fit, I’m not bereft in the waiting. Rather, I make my home in my Lord, and better still, He indwells me.

“God’s plan for you is not just building a kingdom here on earth but getting you and others ready for the heavenly one that is to come.”

It is interesting to note that the Greek word oikeó, which is often translated as “dwell” or “inhabit,” connotes a feeling of comfort and familiarity. Where you oikeó, you are most secure and can truly be yourself. It only makes sense. How could we not be at peace when we live with the One who has searched and known us, who loved us even before He created our innermost parts? (See Psalm 139.)

This means I am never lost, never homeless. And no matter how many times I pack up and move, my true dwelling is something I carry with me. He is where I belong—always.

 

Illustration by Adam Cruft

Related Topics:  Eternity

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1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea.

2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,

23 Jesus answered and said to him, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.

2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.

3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.

4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.

5 You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?

8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.

9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.

11 If I say, Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,"

12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.

13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb.

14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them!

18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.

19 O that You would slay the wicked, O God; Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.

20 For they speak against You wickedly, And Your enemies take Your name in vain.

21 Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?

22 I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

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