Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord. – Lamentations 3:40
Whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. – 1 Corinthians 6:17
Diane and I, along with three others from St. John returned two days ago from a mission trip to Kenya and Tanzania. There are many notable things about this trip: the 38 hour return trip (three flights, 11 hours of airport layovers, and a 16 hour final leg flight), the amazing experience of a serengeti safari, the God-ordained connections we made with church leaders while there, and the eye-opening experiences we as we connected with the ministries there. I look forward to sharing some of the particulars of each of these. It was a faith-enhancing, joyful, and blessed experience!
But it is always good to come home. We’re still adjusting to the significant time change, and jet lag. We hope to be able to enjoy full and refreshing sleep soon. Our body clocks are not quite readjusted. But we’re home. We are able to sleep in our own bed. We’re able to eat fresh vegetables. We’re not worried about negotiating rough roads. We’re in our element.
But we’re not really home in the fullest sense. That is reserved for that Final Day when we will be brought to our eternal home in heaven. And although we may get glimpses of this place of perfect peace here on earth (coming home from a long trip for example), these are only glimpses.
Augustine said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” We might paraphrase that by saying, “We are not truly home until we are at home with you.
God invites us to come to him, examine our ways and return to him. We too easily get distracted by the things of this world. We too often lose our way and wander from God. God even more often invites us back home to him. And when we make our way back – through repentance and faith – he welcomes us with his open heart and gracious love.
This may not be a dramatic conversion, but it is a needed one every day. So when we think of returning home – after a long excursion, a quick trip to the grocery store, or after a long day of work – we might also think of our true home with God. When we rest in him, we have the truest peace and most blessed abode.