I once lived in a little cabin on a piece of property where my family’s realtor lived. A house deal fell through at the last hour and we were homeless, stranded, scrambling. Our kind realtor, with a nice daughter my age, let my parents and their children stay in their two-room cabin with a kitchenette. We soon discovered the cabin was infested with scorpions. We invested in some type of scorpion-bombing device. We lived there for what felt like months in my mind but was probably only two or three weeks. But it was in this little temporary home that we slept, ate, did homework, celebrated a birthday. We watched the peacock that lived on the property. No one got stung by a scorpion except my parents. And now the scorpion cabin is a part of my history, a place I once called home.
We finally were blessed to move into a two-story house we probably couldn’t afford. I had a room of my own where I could fall asleep in the light of the moon. My father built a little fish pond in the backyard. The little waterfall makes a soothing sound. Sometimes it attracts too many frogs, though, and you might see my dad outside in the dead of night with a flashlight, rounding them up in a can to drop by the creek the next morning. There used to be a treehouse where my little brother once attempted to spend the night, but cut it short because of an alleged badger siting. The house holds an old kitchen table with old oak chairs, the legs chewed decades ago by a golden Labrador puppy we once had, where we gathered for dinner. It’s been flooded, more than once, before my dad and brothers built the retaining wall in the backyard. We’ve celebrated birthdays, graduations, engagements, weddings, pregnancies, and friendship in that house. We’ve also celebrated the changing of seasons. The house watched all of the children move out, grandchildren come to visit, puppies come and older dogs pass away. It’s seen pink walls and purple walls and maybe soon, a blue wall. It’s heard the noise of doorbells on Halloween, giggles and rustling wrapping paper on Christmas morning, sermons yelping from computer speakers, my brother’s original music, arguments, apologies, crying, laughing, praying, joking. It’s smelled of barbecue, fajitas, Thanksgiving dinners, coffee, sweet cakes, and lots of burned toast. It hears my mama’s voice telling bedtime stories or letting the wisdom of God seep out in just the right doses. It was a step up from the scorpion cabin for sure. And it is still a place I love to go when the world seems to spin and I need a safe space to land.
Some homes are temporary; others are for a lifetime. Only one, though, is eternal.
As much as I loved my growing-up home, and as much as I love the home I live in now with my four littles and my sweet husband, this world is not my forever home. I’m just here for a season. I love to watch home design shows and imagine spaces in new ways. Yet I can’t begin to imagine the place Jesus has gone to prepare for me in Heaven.
Some people make fun of this idea. Some people think it’s ridiculous to believe that there is a heaven and a home awaiting those who believe in Christ Jesus and call Him Lord. And it is absolutely their right to think that. But my faith compels me to not only believe that it exists, but to await it with great hopefulness and enthusiasm. Because even though my kitchen is one of the loveliest rooms I know, and I have a new mattress, and I tuck my babies in their cozy beds before I fall asleep each night, I am still not all the way in the home where I truly, truly belong. How much more amazing will that beautiful place be?
For some people, their homes right now aren’t as welcoming and comfy as the one my family and I share. For some people, their homes, past or present, are broken, uncomfortable, and dysfunctional. For some people, their homes aren’t safe and seem void of any love. Some of us have lost our beloved childhood home. Some don’t even have a place to call home. There are millions of migrants in the world right now, seeking refuge on foreign soil, trying to survive. To you all I say take heart. God is preparing a place for you that can’t compare to the things of this world. Our forever home is coming, and you can look forward to it.
Right now my job is to help bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. As Jesus prayed, “On earth as it is in heaven,” so am I to pray. May we embrace the glimpses of the goodness of our heavenly home even while we are still on this earth so our faith is strengthened and our hope never fails. I can feel at home wherever I live on this earth. The scorpion cabin wasn’t as comfortable as my childhood home, but it was still just as much my home for a season because it was where my family gathered together. Family is what truly makes a home and God has called us to join His family. I believe that living in the family of God is how we can begin to experience Heaven on earth. I am home with Christ when I am with Him, wherever He leads me—to a cabin, to a tiny apartment, to the inner city, to the suburbs, to my parents’ house, to a little ranch house in the hills. God’s adoption of us as sons and daughters will not pass away with this earth. We will enter into our eternal home as a family, united in the love of Christ, clothed with the grace and mercy of God, beautiful and whole. Let’s begin living in this reality now, extending and receiving grace, committing to love as we are loved, looking ever forward to the space Jesus Christ is preparing because He knows us intimately. He knows how to make a family home that is peaceful and safe, comfortable and beautiful, full of function and fashion, perfectly suited to our needs, perfectly prepared to be our Home forever. But it’s not about even about the space. It’s about the ones who dwell within it—it’s about the family, the people who love God and love each other, committed and connected forever. It’s about being with Jesus.
I am so thankful to be part of God’s kingdom on this earth, and I look forward to a weekend with my sweet family in our safe space. And I also can’t wait to one day see my new, perfect home and be forever with the One who made it for me.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also
in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would
I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to
be with me that you also may be where I am.
You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going,
so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.
From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
May God bless those who lost a loved one, a piece of their home on this earth, fourteen years ago today. May we await together, with great anticipation, the day we can meet again in our forever home. Lord Jesus, lead the way.