Is This My Home?

“Are you my mother?” a newly hatched bird chirps to anyone and everything she meets in the children’s book, Are You My Mother? And while the readers know the bulldozer most certainly is not the hatchling’s mom, somehow the little bird just isn’t quite sure who is or where to find her mother. But I can identify with the uncertainty this hatchling feels. Sometimes I ask the same question over and over again: is this my home?

Home can be elusive. I haven’t lived anywhere for more than three years—much less permanently in any location for the past seventeen years. I can’t even return to my hometown because my family relocated to another state after my college days. I feel like a perpetual wanderer. Even nomads revisit the same vicinities seasonally, but I never seem to return to the same place twice.

Sometimes I imagine home as the solution to the yearning of my heart. If I remained in one place for decades, then my ministry would flourish and I’d have friendships that weather the ups and downs of life. I’d have relationships that knew me growing up, as a newlywed, and navigating motherhood. I wouldn’t be forgotten as others invest into their established lives while mine resets every few years. And the exhaustion of starting over yet again wouldn’t exist. For with each new beginning, the same question echoes in my mind: is this my home?

Desiring stability in calling a place home isn’t wrong, but we can falsely believe God is withholding good or that we’ll be satisfied when home—however we envision it—materializes. But if we turn to the pages of Scripture, a clear picture of home takes shape: home is being known by God and with Him.

THE FIRST HOME

In Genesis 2:15, God places man in his first home—the garden of Eden. God walked in the garden among His children (Genesis 2:8) and had created a home brimming with beauty and purpose. Adam and Eve’s relationship with God was unhindered. The garden overflowed with rich relationships, bountiful produce, and a clear purpose to oversee the garden (Genesis 2:15).

But when Adam and Eve doubted God’s goodness and believed the serpent’s lie, home was decimated like a baseball bat to a piñata. They were cast out of their first home into a world that no longer was perfect, but filled with hardships, discord, and pain. Yet even though Adam and Eve were displaced from their first home, God had a plan to restore home to them through their offspring (Genesis 2:15). While Adam and Eve had no idea how that would transpire, we can look back and know it was day one of God’s promise to make a way back to Himself through Jesus.

We live after the fall from right relationship with God, but our hearts still ache for what God had created us for—to be known by God and with Him. We want to be home. The glimpses God gives us of home this side of earth, are but a shadow of the greatness ahead.

TEMPORARY HOME

Since humankind lost the perfect home God had created for us, we live in the aftermath. We are wandering in search of home. Nowhere more clearly illustrates this concept than when the Israelites wandered for forty years in the wilderness instead of entering the Promised Land immediately. Through doubting God’s goodness—yet again—the Israelites missed God’s good gift.

But God still gave the Israelites a taste of home in the midst of their jaunts through the desert. “The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light” (Exodus 13:21). Despite Israel’s failure to understand God’s promise of a home, He still provided a way to be near Him through leading them by a pillar. Unfortunately, over and over Israel’s wayward hearts refused to accept what they most needed—to be known by God and with Him. Instead, they grumbled about God’s provision, doubted His leading, and turned to worshiping the false gods of the nations around them. And like the Israelites, we do the same. We complain about where God has placed us, question why we don’t have what others seem to possess and are tempted to worship the idol of home.

What happened in the garden wasn’t a fluke. Our hearts are sinful and rebellious. We needed a cure for our sick and dying hearts so we could return home.

RETURNING HOME

Jesus became the God-man to make a way back to Himself because that’s what we most needed—a path back home. Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath (Luke 22:42) and defeated the clutches of sin and power of death (Revelation 1:17, 18) we brought upon ourselves.

In the book of Revelation, we see the masterful plan God had designed to restore humankind and bring us back home. Jesus has conquered sin and death and a new home will be established—the one intended from the very beginning. “The dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people” (Revelation 21:3). Jesus will create a “holy city, new Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:2) where believers can be known by God and with Him—forever. We can finally return home.

For now, wander this globe asking, “Is this my home?” One day we will embrace the home we were created to experience forever—to be known by God and with Him. Until that day, even if we live in one geographic location for decades, it will not fully satisfy us for it is but a shadow of the greatness ahead. God is our eternal home.

How would you describe home in your own words? How can you look forward to your eternal home while catching glimpses of it in your current life?

2 Comments

  1. Christina Dodd April 26, 2022

    Thank you for this post. It hits on something I’ve really been struggling with as we prepare for yet another big transition, this longing for a home (where all my troubles will melt away of course). Thank you for sharing your experiences and then connecting that desire for home it to the Israelites in the desert; that was really helpful!

    1. Jenny Marcelene April 27, 2022

      Thanks for your comment, Christina! As my family gears up to move again this summer, I can sympathize. I hope your big transition ahead is filled with confidence in the Lord guiding your steps and satisfying your heart’s desire with Himself–and I hope the same for myself.

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