If home is where the heart is, why is it that we sometimes find ourselves still longing for that place where we can be rooted, a place where we can feel most at home, a place where we can be ourselves?
Throughout my life, I have called so many places my home.
I love where I grew up. The small town of Hudson has always been so special to me. I had the pleasure of growing up on two farms south of Waterloo and I just love those places. Even to this day, I feel most at home back on the farm. I love going home to see my parents. I love to just relax on the farm. It is what brings me back to center. I love coming home, especially during Hudson Days and seeing all my old friends. It is the closest thing I know to heaven on earth for me, but it is still not home.
I love being at Jack Trice Stadium in the fall at a home Iowa State football game. Cheering for the Clones in my seats in the south end zone. That stadium was my home for the 5 years that I played football on that sacred grass and even to this day it is a magical place for me. I can feel the energy surge through my body and I feel a sense of being home, but it is still not home.
Over the past couple of years, I have spent quite a bit of time in the small town of Williams, where Stephanie grew up. It is a small town, just like Hudson and I relate so well there. I have met so many wonderful people there that I now call my friends. It is like being in a parallel universe where I am in the small town I grew up in, but not quite. I especially love the 4th of July there, where I have spent my last 3 4th of Julys. Going to Tyler and Nicks house and having a bonfire the night before. The parade the next day. Activities in the park and fireworks to end the glorious day. Being around Steph’s family is so wonderful for me. They are kind and accepting and always make me feel right at home in their home and their wonderful little town, but it is still not home.
Even in the place I currently reside, right in the heart of Ames can be comforting. I have all my stuff there and a wonderful cat named Wrigley. It is a place that I can be myself and just relax. I have my garden to tend to in the backyard and my neighbors who have become like family. Best of all, my wife lives there too. I love spending a lazy day at home, but it is still not home.
Maybe it is because home isn’t about a place at all.
The first words that God spoke to Adam and Eve were, “You are free…” as we see in Genesis.
Genesis 2:16 (NIV)
16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
Then God placed them in a perfect home where they were in relationship with Him. But the first people decided they wanted to do life on their own terms, and they turned away from God.
We actually do the same things ourselves. The Bible call this “sin” and says that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The consequence of sin is separation from our Creator. But God loves us, so He made a plan to save us from our sin. The only way was to offer His Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice.
Romans 5:8 (NIV)
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
So what was the point of this? The whole point was to bring us back into relationship with Him.
We can receive God’s gift of salvation by faith alone. It says this clearly in the book of Ephesians.
Ephesians 2:8 (NIV)
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God
Faith is a decision, demonstrated by action.
Romans 10:9 (NIV)
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
If you have never personally chose to accept this gift of salvation through a relationship with Jesus, it is not too late. You can make that decision now and begin that relationship by praying this simple prayer.
Dear God, I need You. I cannot live this life on my own. I know I’m a sinner, but I want to be in relationship with You. I believe Jesus died so that i could experience the forgiveness of all my sins. I accept Your offer of new, abundant, eternal life. Thank you. From this day forward, I will choose to follow You.
Home is not a place found here on earth. We will live our entire lives feeling not totally at home, because our home is actually in heaven with God. As long as we are not there, we will never be truly home. I am so thankful for all the wonderful people in my life and all the wonderful places I can go to feel comforted and be rested. These places are my roots and they serve as my foundation and keep me grounded during my time on this earth. I am even more thankful that Jesus is preparing a place for me in heaven, which is my real home. I look forward to the day when I can go there and know I am home. That will be a glorious day indeed!