Last week, we took our sons to their new home for the next four years (at least). Both are entering their freshman years at a small Baptist university. However, their having a new home has left me confused about where my home is. Since we were married, my wife and I have lived in four different states and three different countries, four if you want to count the one where we unexpectedly had to spend about four or five months. Our children were born in three different countries, and the two that were born in the US were born in different states. I have lost count of how many apartments and houses we have lived in.
So, for me, I don’t consider any place to be home. I had come to think of home as the place where we were all together as a family. For example, if we were staying in a hotel somewhere and went out for dinner, I would say when we were done eating, “Let’s go home.” Home was wherever we were as long as we were together.
Now, we are not together. One-third of the family is away making a new home. So, do I have to change my definition of home? Actually, I think that I just need to radically correct it. God created us to be with Him. Jesus said that eternal life is knowing the Only True God and Jesus Christ, whom He sent. (John 17:3) We are at home when we are close to Him. In this life, many distractions interrupt our being with Him. Yet, we should pursue the practice of His presence, learning to pray without ceasing, talking with Him as we would a friend standing nearby. In the end, we will have perfect fellowship with God when we are in heaven. Heaven is our true home, but heaven is where we will live in complete fulfillment of the purpose for which God created us.
Yes, I still want to be together with my family. I would love for that to be in one place and not to be constantly moving. But my longing for home should help me to understand my deeper longing to be at home with the Lord and to practice His presence in this life so that I will be ready to stand in His presence in the one to come.