I’ve been thinking recently of what “home” means. It can be a place of shelter; a place to rest your head at night. It also can be a feeling of safety and belonging. I think this is why it is people who make a house feel like a home. Leaving home has taught me that.
I don’t call one place home. When I visit my childhood home, I miss my roommates and life in Florida. When I’m in Florida, I miss my family back on the west coast. I’m homesick for both yet neither are my home. It’s a very puzzling feeling. This longing for “home” and permanence is the pilgrim’s plight. We are not made for this world; we are made for something eternal. This world is not our home; it is only a shadow of things to come.
“For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Heb. 13:14).
You can also feel homesick for a person. Visiting places is great, but it is people that make leaving difficult. When I was little, I was terrible at saying goodbyes. So much in fact I would hide in the closet and refuse to come out. If I didn’t say goodbye, I thought then no one would leave. But of course, that’s not how it works. The hardest goodbye I had to make was at my mother’s death. Heaven didn’t become real to me until I lost someone.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:19-21).
Places change and people come and go, but that’s the beauty of it. The joys and sorrows of this world make us long for the next. We get a taste of heaven in the here and now, which then points us to the feast that awaits us. Eternity is going to be one big family reunion, but nothing will compare to seeing our Savior face to face!
I’ve moved three times now, once across the country and twice locally. Each time it’s a reminder to put my trust in the Lord. It’s stressful not knowing where you are going to live or with whom, but each time the Lord provides no matter how much I worry. Each move is a gift, with the opportunity to create a sense of home, a little picture of eternity. So enjoy where God has planted you and the people you are with. Trust in the Lord, He will bring us safely home.