It’s interesting when you see these hanging in homes. For most it’s a sentiment that evokes love, acceptance, peace, somewhere to not only hang your hat but to rest. These signs are a dime a dozen in tourist shops and craft stores…trust me I’ve been to many of both. But the real sentiment which is relayed in these wall hangings can be found within our searching can’t it? We automatically identify places that are not home to us. Perhaps its in the decor of a place, or in the beds we sleep in, or in the company we find ourselves in. But in our searching we can identify where home is and where home isn’t.
Similarly this should be the case in our spiritual relationships. If we are familiar with our Eternal Father in heaven we can quickly identify where He does not reside. And if we are tempted and go to these places we will continue to feel ‘away from home’ in them. Isn’t it interesting that the places we call home don’t just make up things or tangible surrounds? The reasons we call certain places ‘home’ is because of a heart-attachment. By that I mean we are emotionally, historically, and internally attached to a certain place because ‘this is where I’m from!’. Do you see the context here? It’s not four walls of some building that makes a place home, it’s an attachment to us that goes beyond the physical realms.
Similarly in our searching we find ourselves asking ‘big questions’. Questions like ‘who made me?‘ or ‘Are we alone in the universe?’, ‘is there a God?‘, ‘Can I really believe what the Bible says?‘. You see we are all searching in some way, shape, or form for home. Ever since Adam and Eve initially were expelled from the garden of Eden we have been in search of home. Something within us is missing. A crucial life component that makes us whole again.
It’s like working so hard on a thousand piece puzzle and coming to the end of it and discovering you are missing one vital piece of the puzzle. Without that one piece, the puzzle is incomplete.
Intrinsically we are created in God’s image, yet because of this fall into sin, our image of God in us is severely marred…we are missing a piece from within us. This is what A.W. Tozer said on this subject:
“Before the Lord God made man upon the earth He first prepared for him a world of useful and pleasant things for his sustenance and delight. In the Genesis account of the creation these are called simply “things.” They were made for man’s use, but they were meant always to be external to the man and subservient to him. In the deep heart of man was a shrine where none but God was worthy to come. Within him was God; without, a thousand gifts which God had showered upon him. But sin has introduced complications and has made those very gifts of God a potential source of ruin to the soul.
Our woes began when God was forced out of His central shrine and the things were allowed to enter. Within the human heart things have taken over. Men have now by nature no peace within their hearts, for God is crowned there no longer, but there in the moral dusk stubborn and aggressive usurpers fight among themselves for first place on the throne.
This is not a mere metaphor, but an accurate analysis of our real spiritual trouble.”
Do you see now why we are still in search for home? As Tozer puts it, the sacred shrine within us that housed God has been replaced with the external things of this world. We have settled for the creation instead of the Creator. But sin is an utterly poor replacement for God. It’s like calling a mildewed and molded shack with no roof ‘Home’…and settling for something far below what God could provide us.
Our search for home is probably the most ancient sentiment and emotional attachment to this now vacant shrine within us. Everyone in all of creation has now been born with this longing to find home once again. There is a spiritual ache within us. And in order to be whole again we, like the prodigal son in Christ’s parable, have to come to our senses and return to Him. He longs for us to choose Him. When we consider the ‘slop’ we have put into our lives and within our ‘sacred shrines’ we cannot help but feel ashamed.
Yet Christ provides us this missing piece. Our image, our relationship can be restored…we can find that peace, perfect peace of Home once more? It can only be found at the foot of the cross. May we stop seeking and starting looking to the One who desires to make us whole once again!
- Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
- Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
- I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
- I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
- Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.