The scenery changes outside my window. From tree covered mountains to patchwork plains. I’m going home, although I’m not even sure where that is anymore. I’ve called so many places home. But, these ironed flat fields of Kansas hold my growing up memories. They root me to this soil like the tall cottonwoods that line the creek on the farm where I grew up.
As surely as I know no earthly location is completely home, I also know God put in our hearts a desire for home. That yearning points to a place where we nestle in the heart of Jesus, and He inhabits ours. It promises a place of mansions prepared for us, streets of gold and eternity secured.
My brother went to be with Jesus last week. He made it home before me. Sibling rivalry to the max. And as I make my way closer to the place of his final resting place, my mind swirls around thoughts of growing up, of going home, of narrowing the distance.
“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2 Cor. 5:1 NKJV
God put in our hearts a desire for home. That yearning points to a place where we nestle in the heart of Jesus, and He inhabits ours
Joseph was uprooted far from home to the pagan land of Egypt, and when he died, he made the children of Israel promise to bury his bones with his people.
The Israelites wandered in the wilderness making temporary homes in tents, always looking for a better place. A resting spot.
Naomi left her home in Bethlehem and when everything was stripped from her in Moab, she returned there again to finish her days with her people.
Going home is part of every person’s journey.
“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven…” 2 Cor. 5:2 NKJV
My brother was groaning in his earthly flesh for a while. Long enough to know, without knowing how long, that it would not be much longer. It was painfully difficult for those who loved him to recognize he was being called to a far better place.
Jesus comforted his disciples before He left them with these words,
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:1-2 NKJV
As I near home, I am comforted by these thoughts, but I am blown away by the ever growing realization that the God of the Universe desires to dwell with me.
Throughout the Old Testament God made provisions through the ark, the tabernacle, and the Temple to dwell among His people. In His unapproachable holiness, He made laws, sacrifices and gave promise of His presence and plan to be with them.
In the New Testament He gave us Jesus to live and walk with us, to die so the bridge to the Father would give us bold and sure access to Him.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Jn. 1:14 NKJV
Dwelt means He pitched his tent with us.
Paul speaks of the church as His dwelling place…”in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:21-22 NKJV
God’s desire to be with us shows His deep love.
This desire to be near, to live in and with, to pitch His tent among us is perhaps one of the dearest comforts to my heart these days as I say good-bye to one who held my hand as a toddler, wiped my tears as a junior higher and sang at my wedding.
This is part of what I feel in this home going, as I take a final look at the flesh that once housed his spirit. I hear my brother’s daughter whisper to his little grandchild at the casket, “that’s not really him. He’s with Jesus.” And I know that he’s finally arrived. He is home.
“And 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.” John 14:3 NKJV
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