A Holiday Blessing for all who Wander

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I’m not sure how to describe how I feel being back in the USA. If I had to condense it into one word I would say ‘lost’, but that’s not entirely accurate…

–Reflecting on a debriefing journal prompt, April 30, 2018

Where is your “home”? Is it a specific place? When you’re with certain people? A secure feeling of comfort and love? Will you be “home for Christmas”? I’ve been pondering the concept of “home” a lot this year. Returning to the States after two years in Africa, I’ve struggled to find where my “home” is now.

This year I’ve slept in 21 beds in two continents and eight states. It’s been a nomadic, wandering life. I am grateful for the traveling, because many of those beds represent visits with friends and family, and I am thankful for the opportunity to reconnect with so many people. Yet I’ve also struggled with feeling “homeless,” wondering where I belong. Some of the places I visited this year I expected to feel like “home” as they once did, but I was disappointed. The places were still lovely, but the people who had lived there, the body of Christ who had inhabited them, were gone.

My friends and family are spread across the country and the globe. I am not tied down to a house or a job. There is no one place I can return to after a day’s work or a week of traveling, plop down on the couch with a contented sigh, and say, “I’m home!” I’ve wondered where I can settle down for a bit, get rooted in a church community, and develop new lasting friendships. Will I ever find a place like that again?

God has used these feelings of rootlessness and wandering, intensified this year, to draw my focus to Him and point me towards my true and eternal home.

The Lord has reminded me that He, too, knows the heartache of being a vagabond with nowhere to go:

“And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn,” (Luke 2:7).

“Jesus replied, ‘Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head,’” (Luke 9:58).

Yahweh understands what it’s like to wander, as He was with Israel in a temporary dwelling throughout their desert drifting:

“I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day, but I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling,” (2 Samuel 7:6).

God has shown me that this restlessness and wandering on earth points to a greater truth—this is not my final destination:

“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior.,” (Philippians 3:20).

“Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of God’s household,” (Ephesians 2:19).

Not only is this world not my permanent residence, but Jesus Himself is preparing my lasting home for me!

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going,” (John 14:1-3).

The Lord has challenged my earthly fears, discontent, and doubt with a heavenly hope—hope that no matter where I live on planet earth or how I choose to serve Him here, I will forever be in His presence. He has increased my longing for heaven, the home where all things will be made new (Revelation 21:1, 2), there will be no more tears or pain (Revelation 21:4), and I will join with my brothers and sisters and all of creation to praise the Savior and Friend who is leading me there (Revelation 5:9–14).

So will I be home for Christmas this year? I’m not sure. But I know I’ll be giving thanks for the One who is preparing my eternal home, the One who is my home.

Who, what, or where is home for you? How do your ponderings of your eternal home affect your time on earth, if at all?

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

4 Comments

  1. amy young December 31, 2018

    Esther, I love your title. “All who wander” — because, that is me, that is you, that is us. We wander, but as you said, we are also blessed as we wander. Thanks for your words :)!

    1. Gala January 1, 2019

      Esther, …Esther,….it’s as if you were reading my mail. Thanks for your honesty! So much I could say…! For now, I must and want to say through it all,…I have found God to be faithful! Even in the times when I didn’t and don’t understand the waiting or the silence,…He is always right on time! I also recognize that people, things and places are so much more life-giving and life-changing when He does the choosing! Yes, it is frightening and lonely at times,…but as you said, “we are blessed as we wander!” Bless “you” Esther,….as you journey on…!

      1. Esther January 2, 2019

        Thank you, Gala! I appreciate your reminder that God’s timing is best, and He is faithful! 🙂

    2. Esther January 2, 2019

      And, “not all who wander are lost” (Tolkien). Even though we wander, we are not lost, for God is with us and leading us. 🙂

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