Thursday, June 12, 2014

Where is "Home"?

I've made my "home" in Uganda for 4+ years.

“Home is where the heart is.”

For many of us, this is a familiar and loved phrase. I used to think I knew what “home” was or meant - the place where your family is, where you grew up, where you always go back to.

However, lately God has been redefining “home” for me. I have been in Uganda for about 4 ½ years and it has become like a home to me, yet it doesn’t always feel “homey.” At times the unfamiliar encounters and the difficult moments, make me long for my “other” home. But I also feel disconnected from my American home as I watch from afar as friends marry, bear and raise children, and pass through various life seasons. As one friend described it, perhaps it is like having a foot in two different worlds – I am part of each one, but not fully in either.

I have come to realize that no matter how long I live in Uganda, I will never be Ugandan. And, when I go back to the U.S. to visit or perhaps move back someday, it will not feel like home the way that it used to – because I have given part of my heart to another place.

And sometimes I live in a “third” world, which I have created and is kind of a composite of the other two. At times it exists only in my mind, or is more obvious when I am with Americans in Uganda, or enjoying an American meal here. But that third world is temporary, it comes and goes.

At times I find it frustrating not to have a “permanent home” anywhere – here or there.

It has lately occurred to me that this frustration I feel of not fully being in any of these worlds is okay and is even encouraged.

Like the old gospel hymn says,
“This world is not my home,
I’m just a passing thru.
My treasure is laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”

As Christians we won’t or shouldn’t “settle” here on earth – whether in a home or host country – or in a world in our minds. We are not meant to settle, to relax, to put down permanent roots. So, where do we make our home in this waiting time, as we anticipate our heavenly dwelling?

Make your home in Jesus. Heaven will only be our true home because our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus are there. Like some say, people make the home – it’s not about the buildings or the scenery. And, if our Father and Jesus were not to be there, we wouldn’t want to be there either.

So, we can begin now – making our home in Jesus. I believe when man was created, he was intended to live unceasingly forever and forever in God’s presence, with no separation. The Garden of Eden was I am sure a beautiful and breathtaking place, but it was not the true “home” God meant for them to dwell in. He intended for them to be with Him always.

When I make my home in Jesus, delighting in His presence, letting Him take the lead no matter where I am, I feel content, at peace, with a “settledness” in my spirit. I have tried searching for those heart “conditions” in people, places, work and play, but always come up lacking and more deficient than when I began.

But when I make my home in Jesus, when my heart is settled in Him, there are indescribable feelings, and a taste of what I think heaven might be like.

As Christians our security is to be in Jesus Christ – not in places, family, friends, governments, economies, jobs, saving accounts, technology, development, education, medicine, knowledge – not even in passions, professions or callings.

So, settle down in Jesus. Place your heart and home in Him.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:19-21

1 comment:

  1. If/As Christians we should be seeking the Kingdom of Heaven, which means that we will never feel (or should not ever) comfortable here in this world, whether in Uganda, China, Belize, or America.
    Bunyan's pilgrims Christian and Christiana left the city of Destruction and headed for the Celestial City - and we should do the same. Hebrews 11:13 "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth."

    There are no lukewarm Christians in heaven, and I don't want to be a Laodicean for the sake of comfort or "belonging".

    "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:1-2 KJV

    Romans 8 NLT
    1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.

    5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.

    9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life[d] because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

    12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

    15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” ("Abba, Avinu")16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

    Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand
    that the worlds were framed by the word of God,
    so that things which are seen
    were not made of things which do appear.

    Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Acts 20:21

    .....Repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. Acts 26:2