|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