I long to find rest at home. To be still. To be with those I love. To feel settled.
How do you define HOME? It could simply be a place to eat & sleep when you get home from work, a space to decorate and make your own, a prized possession that must be sparkling clean at all times, a retreat from the outside world, an open door for people to come & go as they please, a chaotic mess of broken relationships and hoarded belongings, or even a place inside your heart that feels like your own to refresh.
I have asked myself that question a lot this summer, as we have we have moved houses not once, but twice. There is something about packing up my belongings that tends to send me into a spiral of uncertainty, stress, & frustration. I like to feel settled. I like to know where I am going to lay my head. I thrive on the predictability of having a physical location to dwell. I guess you could call me a homebody.
But, what happens when the place you call home must change? How can we rest even in transition & the unknown? What has changed recently in your home?
We were not planning to move. We just had our third baby when we received the phone call that our landlords were ready to sell the house. I was changing a diaper & chasing my two older kids around our home when images of uprooting our family began running through my sleep deprived mind. Where would we live? What would change? Why now?
Many of you reading this post have probably moved at some point in your life. It's a bittersweet change we sometimes welcome & sometimes want to reject, but either way it takes a lot of energy & effort to pack, move, & unpack. I said a million times "I wish I could just blink & it all be finished", but unfortunately we did not have that luxury! It just didn't feel like the right time to move our family. I did it kicking & screaming in many ways. It's never really convenient to move. Yet, sometimes after I move & get settled again, I still have a longing for home... Do you? Are there things going on in your life right now that make you feel unsettled? Do you find yourself longing for home even inside your house? Do you wish you could wave a magic wand & fix something that feels broken?
My husband reminded me of Luke 9:57-58 where Jesus speaks to his friends about following Him. He says:
As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, "I will follow You wherever You go." And Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
Even Jesus did not have a place to lay His head. I wondered what that really meant. I know he had places to sleep at night. I also know that he was following God where He sent Him. He also knew that eventually His life on this earth would lead to a physical death to demonstrate His love for us. So ultimately he really did not have a place to lay His head. Then it clicked. We don't really have a place to lay our heads either. We have longings in our hearts that will not be fulfilled in this broken world, this broken place we call home. There is disease. There are accidents. There is pain and suffering. Many unfixable, broken things surround us daily, which results in us longing for our heavenly home. Some of my favorite verses are found in Romans 8:
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If there is anything I have learned during this "on the move" summer of ours... it has been that it is a gift to have a place to lay our heads & that we have a home in Jesus no matter how unsettled we may feel. I think of all the people around the world & even in the United States who do not have a roof over their heads & I am humbled. We were displaced for less than a month & I see the way it increased the stress level for me, my husband, & my kids. We were sleeping in different places around extended family & friends, living out of a suitcase, & unsure of where our next home would be. Our hearts were not settled in that sense. Yet, in another sense they were. We had peace & trust in knowing that our God would provide peace even in our circumstance. We also gained some fresh perspective that this place is not our true home; it leaves us coming up empty, longing for more & more. Our Heavenly Home is where we will fully experience complete rest & be whole again. It will be free from brokeness. We will be made new. Heaven is the home we are longing for with our Creator.
What areas of your life may God be gently nudging you into His arms to find rest in Him vs. a temporary fix of the unwanted circumstance?