I should probably go ahead and just admit it. I am a homebody. I like being at home. I wholehearted agree with Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz: “There’s no place like home!”
For the first eighteen years of my life I lived in the same house. As a matter of fact, I lived in the same room of the same house. Since then it has been an entirely different story. I have been somewhat of a tumbleweed for the last three decades. In the years since high school I have lived in San Antonio, Texas; Altus, Oklahoma; Newbury, England; Wayne, Nebraska; Norfolk, Nebraska. . . . Well, you get the picture.
In the past three decades the longest I have lived in one place is eight years. And so you may be stuck with me as your pastor for while. I want to put down roots. I’m tired of moving around so much. I want to stay at home!
We all long for home. To lose our home is one of the greatest hardships a person or family can face. This is true whatever the circumstances involved: career change and relocating, fire, foreclosure, retirement or old age.
Have you ever been homesick?
What is the longest time you have ever been away from home?
What is there about home that makes us long for it? It’s because of what a home represents.
“Home is not where you live but where they understand you.” So said a man named Christian Morgenstern.
“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” So wrote Robert Frost.
“Home is a shelter from storms—all sorts of storms.” So writes William Bennett.
Our deep and instinctive longing for home is a longing for God. There is a God-sized vacuum in our souls. Augustine put it this way: “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee.”
Our homes here on earth are only temporary. We must keep this in mind. The writer of Hebrews reminds us of this when he writes of the lives and faith of Noah, Abraham and Sarah: “They admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth.” “They were looking for a country of their own.” “They were longing for a better country—a heavenly one.” “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.”
What about us? Do we long for our better country? Do we long for our real home? Do we long for the city of God?
This present world is passing away. We await the creation of the new heaven and the new earth. We await our new home. We wait until that Day when Jesus returns so that we can live in the City of God.
It can make one homesick just thinking about it.