Home, sweet home. You see it on all the cute decor items, yet, what does it really mean? I think I’m beginning to learn the true meaning of the saying.
You see, I grew up as a missionary kid and that meant we moved around quite a bit. We never really lived in the same place for a super long time.
I always have a hard time when people ask me where I’m from…. I mean, do you want the short answer: “I was born in Alabama but moved around a lot with my family growing up.” Or if you’ve got all day… “My parents are from Alabama originally and I was born there, but as I grew up we moved multiple times from Puerto Rico to Antigua to Utah back to Alabama… etc.”
I moved to California to go to college. My parents had moved to Guam and I absolutely loved living there in my last years of high school. It’s a tiny little island in the Pacific Ocean. I chose to go to a college in SoCal mostly because it was “closer” to my parents than a school on the east coast.
When I moved here for college, I had no idea that I would live here this long!
But I’ve lived in Southern California for the longest of my entire life.
What?! Does that make me a California girl?
So much of my life has happened here… I went to college, met my husband, got married, started my first job, had my baby… But still, I don’t think I’d say that California is “home” for me.
Please don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for all the opportunities and experiences I’ve had here and that I had growing up as a missionary kid. But it is hard for me to define “home.”
Just like I can’t answer where I’m from, nowhere really feels like home for me. (Granted, seeing my parents is always wonderful!) But before you start to feel bad for me, as I’ve been reflecting on this milestone, I’ve realized that this very real feeling of not having a home is actually not a bad thing.
We are not supposed to feel “at home” and comfortable in this world at all. It is not our home. The Bible says that we are sojourners (1 Peter 2:11), aliens. We’re outsiders in this world, just passing through.
After all life on earth is obviously not perfect. We deal with suffering, strife, so many hardships… all as a result of the fall. In another word, sin. (Romans 5:12)
And while we go through all these things, we long for that deeper feeling of “home,” true rest. It’s something we want because we are made to want it. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God has placed eternity in our hearts.
He has given us, as His children, a desire to know Him fully and to be at home with Him.
Our true home, and true rest, will be with Christ in eternity (Revelation 21:4).
As you read the Bible, there are actually lots of mentions of rest. At the very beginning, in the creation account God rests (Genesis 2:3). In doing so, He set up a pattern to show that we need rest and He will bring it to us in the end.
Then take the story of Noah (Genesis 6-8), his name means rest. The world was in shambles… God had to literally flood the entire world and start over because it got so bad.
But when He washed away all the sin with the flood, he promised Noah that he would bring true rest.
Throughout the rest of the Old Testament you see characters striving for true rest, for home.
In the Exodus, God’s people are searching for rest from the hardships in Egypt and the wandering in the wilderness (Exodus 3:17).
And all the sabbath laws were weekly reminders that God would bring true rest (Deuteronomy 5:11-15).
Keep reading and you find the Davidic dynasty in 2 Samuel 7:1, where God has given rest from enemies on all sides. And Solomon’s temple dedication as an answered promise of rest from the Lord (1 Kings 8:56-61).
Then fast forward to Jesus’ words in Matthew 11:28:
“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, I will give you rest.”
And at the end of the Bible, what do we see in Revelation? A rainbow, signifying that Christ had come and brought true rest for his followers. He’s coming to take them home. (Revelation 10:1)
Go and read Revelation 21-22… That is your eternal home! What a future to look forward to.
Maybe you are weary today… discipline feels never-ending, you have had sleepless nights, your child is sick, you’re in pain, you’ve lost a loved one… remember, God has not left us without hope. He has promised to give us rest, to bring us home in the end. And He will keep His promise.
So while California has been my “home” for the longest in my life… it is nothing compared to the eternity waiting for me in my true home with my Savior.
That will be my home, sweet home.