Places in Time

I was in a melancholy mood to say the least.  Sitting in a box truck filled with belongings of a dear friend, the two-day journey provided plenty of time for thought.

The cargo my late husband and I were hauling was on its way to a storage barn. After months of unemployment, our young friend and her husband had come to the end of their rope.  They were good people who fell into bad times.  Despite their education, strong work ethic and determination, the writing was on the wall. The mortgage could no longer be met and the lender’s position was clear. They had to let go. With babies to care for, mounting bills and fading hope, they made the tough decision to accept an offer to move back to their hometown and live with family until they could find their footing.

Upon our arrival we were welcomed with genuine hospitality where a soft bed awaited us for the night, a good breakfast in the morning and meaningful conversation that included unshakable faith in our sovereign God.  Despite the reason that had brought us to this home, a blessing emerged in witnessing the warmth of kin on both sides who were willing to come to the aid of their adult children. Our friends were safe and loved, even in their trying circumstances. When time came to say our good-byes, we knew they would recover.

The drive back was punctuated with visual reminders that we are all temporary residents in the places we call home. The first came as we rounded a bend in the road, which led us to the underpass of a natural stone bridge. My eyes caught the date that had been meticulously chiseled in the arch ~ 1908.  I envisioned the men that tunneled this passage through which we were traveling.  No sooner had the thoughts of that bridge faded, than another site  renewed a mindset of nostalgia: an abandoned homestead.  Nestled in deeply wooded rolling hills, it stood as a silent witness to a family that had planned to put down roots. In light of our trip, I wondered what conditions had caused the owners to leave it behind. I sat quietly and asked God to help me see Him in all of this. Days later, He did.

In the quiet morning hours, reading Paul’s words in the 17th Chapter of Acts, I was amazed to come across this statement: “From one man he [God] made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.” (NIV )  It was a clear answer.

God may move us to places or circumstances we would not choose in order to accomplish results we desperately need. Our security is not found in our physical surroundings or the things we possess, but is built upon the faith we embrace and that foundation is Jesus Christ.

The comforts of home and the familiar things that we enjoy are a blessing indeed and we do well when we are grateful for them, but they are not the basis of our forever dwelling. Our earthly address allows us a wonderful temporary haven, but our true home is found in God eternal.

We never know what a day may bring, what impact world events could have or what circumstances will turn us in a direction we never anticipated. But we do know that God is in it and is working for our good.  One day those of us who trust in Jesus will take up permanent residence with Him.  Stepping onto the grounds of our Forever Home, we will come to realize how perfectly He guided our journey … and home sweet home will have a whole new meaning!


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