One of the most bittersweet moments after a long, fulfilling journey is coming home. Over the course of the past several years, I have been to a handful of different countries and have had some of the most wonderful, unforgettable experiences. I usually spend my flight home scrolling through pictures, journaling, retelling that trip’s running joke, and planning a return journey to the destination I’m leaving behind. Nevertheless, no matter how far I stray away, I find a soothing pleasure in seeing that final turn that will steer me into my driveway, opening the door to take a breath of the familiar smell, and laying down on my bed with my head perfectly placed on my pillow. As I close my eyes, I do not think how much I wish to be where I was, I only think that I am so happy to be home.
I know many of you reading this have the exact same experience with the place you call home; however, I know for others, your current home is far from a place you wish to return. Returning home to you means refacing an unpleasant past, examining poor relationships, having greater opportunity to sin, dealing with loneliness, hiding from abuse, or a customized mixture of some/all of these things. The contrast between where you were and where you are going back to is so remarkably different that you see no hope in returning. There is always hope in returning home.
“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.” John 14:1-4
The reality is that all of us who believe are on a journey home, but it is possible none of us will make it there in this lifetime. God is preparing a place for all of his children, those who believe in the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ and know and live by saving grace that comes through faith. Jesus Christ is preparing a place for us to lay our heads for eternity, and he will one day come back for us, fulfilling his promise. We do not look for a physical direction, or a spiritual ascent in the heavens, but look for the way, the truth, and the life Jesus speaks of as the restoration to the Father. Our desire is to be here on this earth, but it is not in its present state (1 John 2:15-17), but the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God.
No matter where we lay our heads or what situations befalls us, we have been given a way to where Jesus is calling. One place is not more powerful than another. One experience is not higher than the other. By placing Jesus Christ as our heart, our hope stays with us, and is never in a location or circumstance. Still, even our spiritual highs pale in comparison to what is promised for us in the place that is being prepared for us. In the Kingdom we will be in the presence of our Savior and our God. Where we arrived at the place prepared for and rest in the assurance of eternal life, none of us will desire to be where we were; we will only think we are happy to be home.