By faith he [Abraham] dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country,
dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;
for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God (Hebrews 11:9-10, NKJV).
I’ve just finished writing a novel about a homeless family, and it really has heightened my awareness of the meaning of “home,” and all that goes with it.
I’m a home-body. Oh, I love traveling to fun places, but truthfully, there’s nowhere I’d rather be than at home. I like the comfortable surroundings, the familiar setting, the feeling of belonging, don’t you? And as I researched and wrote about people who no longer have a place to call home, I wrestled with being grateful for all I have while agonizing for those who don’t share my blessing.
The great patriarch Abraham had a way of putting it all in perspective. Undoubtedly a wealthy man, living a life of relative ease before God called him to leave the familiar behind and travel to an unknown destination, Abraham obeyed and struck out for parts unknown. No longer did he have a place to call home, as he and his household became nomads, living in tents. The Scriptures say he considered his new life as dwelling “in a foreign land” while “he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Abraham knew that home wasn’t so much a place as it was a Person. Heaven, after all, is only heaven because God is there. The absence of God is what makes hell a place where no one wants to go.
Dr. Billy Graham just turned 93 and released a book called Nearing Home. Like Abraham, he knows he dwells in a foreign land, awaiting the call to “come home” to be with his Savior and Lord. “Home is where the heart is” isn’t just an old saying; it’s a deep-seated truth that tells a lot about us. Where is our heart? Is it here, in the shadow-lands, desperately trying to hold on to things we cannot keep…or is it already at home with God, just waiting for our spirit to be released to go there?
Whether we live in a mansion or a tent, or even on the street, home awaits. Can you hear the Father calling?