Sunday, March 30, 2014

I'm Already Home

Enough of the "far away from home" life.

It's an easy trap to fall into, considering I am away from home in a way. I'm not currently living in the town I call home, not able to see my family or friends often. In fact, I live thirty miles from the nearest gas station. My life right now very much bears the stamp of an extended mission.

I've been on my knees frequently for the past month or so, praying for a handful of things that are close to my heart. There are a few friends I've been lifting up. I pray daily, multiple times a day, for the salvation of my students. I think often of my mom and brother on the coast, asking for blessings on them. Most relevant to today's rambling blog entry, I'm hankering hard for a job closer to where I do call home.

Now this isn't the only content of my prayers. I make sure to include loads of thankfulness, loads of truth from Scripture about who I am in Christ. That precedes everything. Balance. But my requests of God are still near to my heart and still very potent.

It's easy to wind up in a place where you see life as "over there", and not right here.

Once I get THERE, everything will be better.

Once God moves in THIS, things will look up.

Once he gives me THIS thing, I'll be content.

Rarely do we intend to wind up thinking like this. It just sorta happens. The things for which you're praying tend to gradually swell if you're not watching, make claims on your mind you hadn't planned. We tend to subtly shift the definition of what we're looking to as "home". The parameters of "what will bring my heart joy and peace" keep trying to shift sideways on us like a crab.

I have to constantly remind myself of where my home truly lies...and it's not far away at all.

"The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." - Psalm 18:2

My true home is God.

And God is right here through the indwelling Christ.

I'm not far away from home at all. I'm already there.

No gift, no achievement, no change in circumstances or calling, no blessing is the ultimate goal - but Jesus is already here with me. He's waiting for me when I go home at night. He's at work with me too. He's my counselor, my comforter, my strength, and my guide. He offers his ear, his peace, his wisdom, and his presence.

Maybe that sounds all corny and religious to you. Trust me, it's not. Peace is amazing. Confidence in his nearness is a treasure.

It's not that my desires are unimportant to God. They may come. But reaching those things is not "arriving". When I find blessing and victory, he'll be the true joy of it. And when I'm waiting, or when I experience loss, he'll be the rock that steadies me.

Still, I have a lot further to go. Paul says "as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord." So I have an even homier home waiting for me, towards which the pilgrimage of my life reaches. But Scripture has made clear that my life in God has already begun, even now on this earth. Even now, I have access to the throne. Even though I still see through a mirror dimly, what Christ offers through that mirror is still longer-lasting and more sure than anything else. That's how powerful his grace is.

I don't have to feel like a stranded malcontent while I wait and see about those other things. Jesus is right here. I'm already home.

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