Before I sat down to start writing and working this morning at my favorite coffee shop, I decided to take a walk around my town of Smyrna, GA to clear my head. I was immediately struck by thoughts of what the term home means to me. I love my current town of Smyrna. It has a small town feel while sitting on the edge of the very large and bustling city of Atlanta. Even though Smyrna is growing rapidly, it has managed to keep most of it’s small town charm.
This got me thinking about “home” and all the places I’ve lived. Last week we were in Texas visiting family. Every time I go home to Waco, I feel homesick and consider that maybe we made a huge mistake not staying in Texas. It will never cease to feel like home.
But, during my walk today, I realized Smyrna/Atlanta is home, too. And, when we lived in Cambridge, MA I loved it so and it felt like home as well. How can all these places feel like home? Isn’t just one place supposed to feel like home? At that moment it struck me, home is wherever we are that is exactly where God wants us at this time in our life. God chose for me to grow up in Texas and He called us to Atlanta and to Boston and back here to Atlanta. This is exactly where He wants us and sitting in the center of that is where home lies.
Acts 17:26 says, “From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live…” (NSRV)
God, even though my parents grew up in New York, planned from the beginning of time, the plan for my life and where I would live. He had a reason for me growing up in Texas and He had a plan concerning all the moves I’ve made in my life, and He has me here, in Smyrna, GA, for a purpose. He has a will and a plan for you where you live, too. And, whenever we are in the center of that plan and His will, where we are will feel like home.
The Bible also tells us that even though God has set up the places where we will live on this earth, this is not our ultimate home. A sliver of our heart will always long and be homesick for our ultimate home which is heaven. Yes, we are called to live at home in the world where He has placed us. We are called to bring His kingdom to the place where we’ve been dropped at this moment in time by His sovereign hand. But, we are also called to live as one who longs for our eternal home.
Hebrews 11:16 tells us, “But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed, he has prepared for them a city.” (ESV)
So, to answer my earlier question, yes, we can feel at home in multiple places at the same time. That is our calling as Christian sojourners on earth. We make a home here in the world, encouraging His “kingdom to come here on earth as it is in heaven”, while at the same time longing for that day when we will live in our forever home prepared for us by God Himself.
Oh, that I would find that balance- how to live in the here and the not yet. God, help!