September 25, 2007

Home is where my heart is

Over the past forty-five plus years, I’ve moved twenty-eight times. They say it takes two years to adjust to a new residence. If that is true, I’m terribly maladjusted!

Some of those moves were short. The worst was our brief stay in a northern city in Alberta. My husband was on a contract job. The movers unloaded, and in less than a week, we were unpacked and even had the pictures hung. Then his new boss asked him to do something unethical in regard to their client. Although he was not a Christian at that point, my husband refused, resigned, and since we were living in a house supplied by the client, we had to move immediately.

In our many relocations, we moved to one city five times, sometimes back into the same house (which we had rented out). Right now, we have been in this house for nine years. That is the longest in one place.

Moving that often has advantages and disadvantages. The worst is that relationships suffer. We had one lady introduce us to someone with, “Don’t get to know them too well. They will be moving soon.”

Every now and then I used to get homesick. For a long time I wondered what home was I missing. I thought that longing might be just the itch to move again, to resolve the difficulties of the current place by pulling out and leaving them behind. Now I know better. I get homesick because this place and none of the other places are my real home.

Philippians 3:20-21 spell it out: “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”

When Christ drew me into His family and His kingdom, He changed my citizenship. I live here on earth, but am a citizen of an eternal and permanent home, a perfect place. Once I am there, I will never move again. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says God has put eternity in my heart, and when I long for home, I am longing for that place I’ve not seen with my eyes, but my heart knows of it.

From there, Jesus will come here some day to take me home. He will also “transform” me. The Greek word is schematic and suggests that He will change my internal design. That change is needed because the body I have now is not able to live eternally, nor would I want it to. Heaven doesn’t seem the place for sore toes, somewhat less than 20-20 vision, and hair that will never do what I want it to do!

The Bible says that in eternity there will be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain. I’m sure that includes arthritis and homesickness. These verses in Philippians say my body will be like Jesus’ body. I’m not sure of everything that means except that after His resurrection Jesus could be wherever He wanted in an instant, even go through locked doors, yet was still physical, a real body and not a spirit-like being. He was recognizable but also different. He ate and drank but I’m not sure He needed to do either one.

No matter what my body is like, I know that being at that 'home' will satisfy me and being with Jesus will bring perfect contentment. This hope should also be good reason to stop belly-aching about the imperfections of living in this place!

UPDATE: My husband's heart specialist has told him that his recovery is complete. He needs to continue eating right and exercising, but he can "return to normal life," including shoveling snow (which we thought would be a no-no). Besides feeling really well, he does have some memory problems since his heart attack, more annoying than severe. Other than that, he is in better shape now than he was before this happened!

As for our granddaughter, she is back in university to get her teacher's certificate. She is talkative, happy and full of energy. The difference in her between now and last year at this time is absolutely astounding. She still needs Jesus, but He has answered prayer for her in amazing ways. We continue to pray that she finds true and lasting joy in knowing Him.

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