How lovely is your dwelling place, LORD Almighty (Psalm 84:1)!
I’m in a season of traveling right now, flying in and out of national and international airports, speaking here and teaching there, promoting and signing books, staying in hotels or with friends, and often eating on the run. Each time I complete a trip and the plane’s wheels touch down on the runway, I think, “There’s no place like home!”
It’s true, isn’t it? Even if you enjoy traveling (it has long since lost its glamour for me!), it’s still a good feeling to come home at last. I enjoy being reunited with my loved ones, experiencing the familiar, settling back into my own personal “nest.” Yet I know that this is truly not my home—at least, not for much longer. One day, very possibly sooner than we would imagine, we will each breathe our last on this earth and, assuming we have received Jesus as our personal Savior, be transported into His presence. Then we can truly say we are home at last. The best part isn’t so much that our home is some glorious place where sin and sickness and death no longer exist, but that our eternal home is with God—in His very presence. For that is what makes it heaven.
Through the millennia those who dismiss and reject God spend their earthly lives trying to create their own version of heaven, yet all fail miserably. Even an island paradise on earth would be hell without the presence and love of God. But with Him? Ah, there’s the difference. Even when I’m landing in another city or country where I’ve never been before, where I may not know the geography or customs or even the language, focusing on the fact that God is with me wherever I go reminds me that I truly haven’t left home at all.
There is an old saying that “home is where the heart is.” If my heart is full of love for Christ and I know His Spirit dwells within me, then I never really leave home at all—no matter where my body goes. And that puts an entirely different perspective on it all, doesn’t it?
The Lord’s dwelling place is indeed lovely, and I for one plan to spend every moment there, both now and for all eternity.