By Terry Gardner
“There’s no place like home,” “Home is where the heart is,” “Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home.” The dictionary defines home as, “the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.” Synonyms include: abode, dwelling, habitation, domicile, residence.
We sing many songs about home. We sing, “This world is not my home,” “Anywhere is home,” “There is a Habitation, built by the living God,” “Home of the Soul.” Consider with me what the word home means, the fact that we often spend our entire life looking for home and what God teaches us about the concept of home.
What does the word “home” mean to each of us? When we think of home do we think of peace, protection, warmth, love, parents?
We often spend our entire life searching for home. Many Jews have moved back to Israel so that they would have a home. My grandfather’s family began life in Stratford, Oklahoma and he ultimately returned there to live out his last days. Jesus had no home and said, “Foxes have holes, birds of the heaven have nests, but the son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” When I was child we moved frequently. I attended six different elementary schools and I hated moving in part because I longed for a place I could call home.
Paul helps us understand God’s view of home. Paul wrote, “Therefore, being always of good courage, and knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord— for we walk by faith, not by sight— we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord. Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Cor. 5:6. Paul also wrote, “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 Cor. 5:1
Our heavenly home is with God. Therefore it is a mistake to invest ourselves in this world, which we know is passing away. Our affections are to be centered on that home of the soul where is the lamp and Lamb of God. Abraham understood that real home is not a physical place and by faith Abraham left his physical home with no idea where he was being called by God. “By faith” Abraham “lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob fellow heirs of the same promise; for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Heb. 11:9-10.
This subject makes me reflect on my own life and my priorities. Do I spend more time worried about job, retirement, house payments, cars and the things of this world or am I looking for the same city Abraham sought? Abraham was looking for a home where God is and where “He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain.” Am I looking for the same home Abraham sought or am I invested in this world which is passing away? The choice belongs to each of us.