HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
Being in the military some 15 years now, this chapter could never be truer. Moving every two to three years can sometimes cause some stress, but once the new quarters, whether a private home or government owned, is set up with familiar settings, things seem to get back to normal. The kids feel secure, and soon have new friends. My children, unlike my wife and I, never had one house they could call home, but they still had a home.
During an earlier tour of duty, when I was young and single, and living in Germany, I had a chance to take leave at Christmas. There was such anticipation waiting for the day I could get on a plane and land in Newark, New Jersey. All those old John Wayne movies ran through my mind. You know the one where the hero comes home from battle and runs into the arms of a loving woman. Although I was never in battle, and not a hero, I had the same expectations as the Duke, of running off the plane into the arms of a gorgeous, loving girlfriend. When I landed, my brother was the only one there to greet me. Although he did give me a hug, being glad to see me, it was just not the same. I went to see the girl I was writing only to find her engaged to someone else. As you can tell, the dream turned into a nightmare, and all I wanted to do now was go back to the barracks in Germany, and commiserate with friends.
Although the dreams we have in this world can sometimes disappoint us, I know that the dream I have about my heavenly home are true. I know they are true because a good friend came from there and told me so. Jesus said in John’s gospel, chapter 14, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you, I go to prepare a place for you.” I know now, that truly I must be important if God has prepared a mansion for me.
There are many other things told to us about our heavenly home. Like in Revelations, Chapter 4, “ And He who sat there was like a jasper and sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald... And from the throne proceeded lightning, thundering, and voices... Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal.” Continuing in Revelation, chapter 7, we are told in our Father house there shall be neither hunger, nor thirst. The sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; “for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Finally, Revelations, chapter 21, starting at verse 9, “Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, ‘Come, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the Holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. And her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal. Also she had a great and high wall with twelve gates, and twelve angels at the gates, and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west. Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he who talked with me had a gold reed to measure the city, its gates and its walls. And the city is laid out as a square, and its length is as great as its breadth. And he measured the city with the reed: Twelve thousand furlongs. Its length, breadth, and height are equal. Then he measured its wall: one hundred and forty-four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of an angel. And the construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones; the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald, the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. And the gates were twelve pearls; each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass... And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month.”
I couldn’t see using my own words to try and explain God’s reward for those who love him. I know it’s impossible to read with your eyes closed, but just close them for a moment, and try to imagine the greatness of our heavenly home. John did his very best to explain this majesty, but our earthly vocabulary falls far short, and I’m sure there is much more God has in store for those whom believe than what John could find the words to explain.
Personally, I can’t wait to go home to live with my Father in heaven, and I would do nothing to endanger my chances of going there. I’ve planned my trip home with great detail because I want the trip to be perfect. I’ve planned the route and the accommodations along the road. I know that the way home is to go to the cross of Jesus Christ, make a right turn, then go straight, or as it says in Deuteronomy 5:32, “So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that the Lord your God commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.”
I know there will be obstacles along the road, and there may even be times that I fall down. But I also know that God’s grace is all I need to help me through those hard times. You see, I want to be able to say when I reach home, that I, like Saint Paul, ran the good race.
I entitled this chapter, "Home is Where the Heart Is", and now I need to ask you where your heart is? Mine is focused on the things of heaven, and I hope, no I pray, that yours is too. When I enter the mansion that God, My Father, has prepared for me, I pray that your mansion is right next-door, and that we can share in His glory together and forever!