Read first: Luke 15:11-32 // Romans 8:38-39 // Psalm 139:9-10
Whether you’re adventurous or a homebody, your very infrastructure craves depth, assurance and an anchor. When we think of our physical homestead, its defining properties include recurrence, familiarity, specific sensory details and loved ones and things. There is a weight tied to the bottom of these things, building within you a sense of identity. It’s the places, people and things we go back to time and time again that are considered home. I would also like to argue that if you’ve never had a physical home, there are still places to be considered “home” beyond a physical structure. Home is a sense. A scaffolding that can hold us together. Where we find our home is where we find our rest and roots. Metaphorically speaking, our “homes” are where we find our lives and where our roots get tangled together the deeper they grow. That velcro-like feeling when you get torn away from it—that’s when you know it’s home.
It is a natural, instinctive desire to seek the stability of a home, of belonging. This can take shape in many ways—maybe it looks like a house, a friend group, an art piece, a side passion project or more. There’s a sense of being known in this “place”, a reassurance of safety in dwelling there. As we continue further into this journey, we feel the weight of the paradox that’s unraveling. That we have a home but it’s structure isn’t on earth. The things of this earth and the things that we may deem “home” will ultimately fail us. When our “homes” start to cave in, we run the other way (Matthew 7:24-27 speaks to this imagery). I would say that we all have a little bit of a runner in us (I know I do). We run from so many things that we don’t want to face. We want to seek belonging and assurance in the “good life”– to live in the coolest neighborhood as far away from your family of origin as possible. To have the most intriguing wardrobe and interesting stories to tell. To be an influencer, to have people following us and curated façades of what our own personal idea of the “good life” is. And so, we pack our bags and run from home to other things that we think will give us the assurance of stability. If you haven’t read the story of the prodigal son yet, do so now (Luke 15:11-32). I am the younger brother in the story of the prodigal son. I take what I can get and run away as fast as I can. My treasure looks like a far away land where no one knows my name and I can mask my pain however I choose. I don’t trust God’s security and abundance so I pack up all my belongings to embark on another journey to a far away country.
But just like the younger brother, I too, squander my inheritance. I expend everything I own, with my lust for life and my restless heart to truly see if there is anything that exceeds the abundance of God. I turn up dry every time. And I return home, knowing my unworthiness. My broken heart always goes home. Sometimes very quickly, other times very slowly, but my roots are somewhere else and my soul longs for it–for the familiarity of home. God knows there is nothing we can do to completely separate ourselves from Him. We are folded into Him. Romans 8:38-39 says this, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Even when we run, that distance is still filled, it’s a mended gap. We are truly never separated from Christ, even amidst our aching, disbelieving hearts. And within our homecoming is a celebration and embrace that speaks surrender and rest over our souls. Our tired minds turn off and our worries and insecurities get put on a shelf, fully feeling our assurance and pardon in Christ. We always go home anyway. Where are you making your home?