November 10, 2011

Even the homeless can have a Home

In my life, I’ve moved twenty-eight times. If averaged out, that means a move every two and a half years. I’ve heard said that it actually takes that two and a half years to recover from a move. Will I ever catch up? Or do I need to?

Home is a wonderful word and a real treasure for those who have one. My husband and I deeply enjoy our current home and as we consider downsizing, we have decided that this is the place to stay. We can downsize our ‘stuff’ instead. However, both of us have another home. For me, this other dwelling place has been mine for about forty years. It is not a ‘vacation’ home or a second property, but far more permanent . . . 

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:1–2)

The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms . . . (Deuteronomy 33:27)
The words ‘dwelling place’ in the Deuteronomy verse can be translated “mansion,” or “abiding place.” This metaphor presents the blessed thought that God is my abode, my home. In fact, the New Testament speaks of me being “in Christ” which is another way to say that no matter where I am, Christ lives in me and I am told to abide in Him.

How sweet this metaphor. No matter where I have lived, home is a precious place. It is where I’ve felt safe, been able to rest and relax, been the most comfortable and the happiest. This is where I do my most enjoyable work, and spend time with those dearest to me.

The same is true of my refuge in God. He is my spiritual dwelling place. Because I abide in Him, I am secure and “fear no evil.” He is my shelter and retreat, my abiding refuge and safe place. In Him I find rest and comfort from the trials, struggles and conflicts of life. When I am caught up by life’s burdens, He says,

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28–30)
As I abide in Him, I am not afraid of being misunderstood by others. Also, I can talk freely with Him, telling all of my concerns, even things no one else knows. He honors me, even says that “when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6). Not only that, as I abide in Him, He tells me His secrets as He said to His disciples, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. . . .” (Matthew 13:11).

My home is delightful, yet as I abide in Christ I have a joy that surpasses all other delights. In His presence is fullness of joy. He grants me strength for daily burdens and grace to tackle all challenges. One look at the face of Jesus Christ and I am eager to serve Him with all my heart. As I abide in Him, I want to invite others to join me in this refuge and in the wonder of His care.

Lord, You are my dwelling place. In You, I live and move and have my being. I cannot imagine life apart from the sanctity of Your incredible love and care. Your mercy is my mansion. Your grace enables me to dwell in You and with You. I have a wood and stucco home here, but in You, I have a fortress, an eternal dwelling place, a perfect home. Thank You for wrapping and protecting me in Yourself.

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