Enjoying the Journey
The last few days have been filled with so many wonderful memories…and so much expectation for the future! As we pulled out of Knoxville, Tennessee on Wednesday I reflected on how good God has been to us in that place. We rejoice that He is not bound by geography! In fact, He is not bound by anything.
I have made the drive from east Tennessee to southern West Virginia many times in the last twenty-two years, but this time was different. We were leaving home for home. Thoughts of home have consumed my mind this week as we have unloaded and begun to settle in Beckley. Permit me to share a few of my thoughts…
- Home is the place God chooses for you.
Abraham left Ur for Canaan. He left home for home. No doubt, He loved the people and place where his father Terah had raised him. But his Heavenly Father had another place reserved.
Pastor Sexton said in my hearing so many times, “When God calls you to a place, He is not calling you to a place – He is calling you to Himself.” Truly, the great thing about any place is the opportunity to meet the Lord there and know Him in a greater way. Home is the place of God’s choosing.
- Home is the place where your loved ones are.
The old adage, “Home is where the heart is,” is true on this point! I wake up many mornings in another town, but home is wherever my family happens to be. I am rejoicing today that God has given me such a supportive wife and sweet children to make this journey with. I am grateful that He has given us a new church family to love and serve alongside.
The chief reason for our relocation was for our kids to be closer to family when I have to be away from them. My parents and sister’s family have been so kind to us in this transition. In some sense, Knoxville will always be home for my kids just as West Virginia has always been home for me. We have left one home for another.
- Home is a place of friendship.
We most often associate home with family, but it is as surely a place of friendship. A group of Tennessee Volunteers helped us load our U-Haul and a group of West Virginia Mountaineers helped us unload it. What a blessing it is to have friends! As a follower of Christ
home should always be connected to a church home.
One of the joys of itinerant work is the realization that the family of God is large and the love of God is real in every place where God’s people happen to be. I can arrive in a new place and in a few minutes feel very much at home in the presence of brothers and sisters in Christ! You don’t have to be home to feel at home.
We do not leave true friends. We keep them and add others to that number. Life should not narrow relationships; it should broaden them. Home gets bigger all the time.
- Home is Heaven.
This is the greatest truth of all: none of us are really home. Not yet. Even when Abraham got to Canaan he was not home. “He looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:10). Knoxville will always be home. Beckley is home. Yet the song writer was right, “This world is not my home! I’m just a passing through.”
Like all of God’s children we are just “strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Heb. 11:13). We will not be home until we are in our Father’s house! Someday all of us will leave home for home.
Until then, may I encourage you to enjoy the earthly home God has given you, but do not get too attached. We are ALL in transition…we are headed for home.
Thank you for your prayers for our family. May God bless you. We hope to see so many of you at our home, your home, or our Father’s home very soon.