As a child, one of the best things about summer was being able to play outside with my friends until sunset. In my neighborhood, we could safely run up and down the street, flying down a slip-and-slide at one end and shooting hoops with the boys at the other. We’d even venture just around the corner to play hopscotch with the twins. From kick-the-can to hide-and-seek, all of the kids on my block relished every moment of those long, lazy days of summer.
Yet, before we knew it, the sun would make its way to the horizon – and just as the first star started to twinkle, the light on my front porch flickered. That’s when I’d hear familiar words from my father or mother, “Rebecca, it’s time to come home.”
Oddly enough, I didn’t mind this ritual. Despite all the fun I was having with my friends, I always kept an eye on my house – wondering when someone would call for me. Some days I couldn’t wait to be with my family and enjoy the comfort home offered at the end of the day. Most of all, I liked the sound of that loving invitation – welcoming me back to where I truly belonged.
Last month our family lost a loved one who went to be with the Lord. Craig waged a lengthy battle with various health issues, and his body finally had enough. And God, in His graciousness, didn’t allow him to suffer. After a few days in the hospital, his Heavenly Father called him home.
During this time, I’ve been reminded of Jesus’ words to His disciples about the season of loss that was headed their direction. Look at what He shared with them in John 14:1-4:
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home.If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. And you know the way to where I am going.”
Jesus knew He would soon be returning to His Father and real home, but He didn’t want anyone to worry in the meantime. He would be busy making preparations for our eternal stay! Best of all, He promised to return for us when everything was ready.
Of course, a few of the Lord’s followers didn’t quite get it – and they had some questions. Thomas wanted to know exactly where He was going, and Philip asked to see Jesus’ Father so he’d be more assured in his faith. They had doubts, even after all the time they’d spent in their Lord’s presence.
But Jesus was patient with them – just like He is with all of us. Christ reminded them that He was the only way to the Father (verse 6) – and that belief in Him is needed for salvation (verse 11). In other words, a simple, childlike faith is all it takes.
I know what that childlike faith is like because those loving parents who welcomed me home also taught God’s Word to me. They prayed with me each evening as they tucked me in and turned out the light. My earliest memories aren’t just made up of summer fun – they’re also filled to the brim with moments talking about God’s Son and His beautiful gift of salvation that I happily received.
That’s why today I relish each day the Lord has given me here on Earth – but I am also keeping an eye out for my real home that’s awaiting me. I’m trying to learn all I can about my Father and the family God’s made me part of because of His mercy and grace. And I’ve got my ears listening for that loving call that’s somewhere on the horizon, “It’s time to come home.”
How about you? Do you feel ready to go to your eternal home if God called? If not, then take time to pray to the Lord right now. Don’t let the sun set again without knowing for sure that your sins are forgiven by God’s Son who sacrificed everything on your behalf. And for all of us who are saved, let’s get rid of anything that’s trying to distract us as we continue to run toward home.
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
calling for you and for me;
see, on the portals he’s waiting and watching,
watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home;
ye who are weary come home;
earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
calling, O sinner, come home!
Thought of the Month
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.