Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Home is where the heart is

 About ten years ago our house was diagnosed with “leaky house syndrome,” which means that most of the framework of the house was slowly rotting away due to water leaking through the  cladding and not being able to escape again.  As a consequence last summer we had to move out for 6 months while it was stripped back to the framework, much of the framework replaced, and then re-clad again.  We were very fortunate to have a kind relative who had a small apartment in the city which we could camp in during that time.  

It was a great blessing to have a cheap roof over our head but there were daily struggles that came with living there and because we knew we had a better place to go back to we were restless and frustrated.  As we remembered stored away toys or heard of a new milestone on the building site our mindset became one of looking forward to life in our new home and how much better our lives would be once we were back there.  I’m ashamed to tell you the new/old house became the idol which would fix all our problems, just so long as we were living there!  Well we got back and it has been pretty good until a couple of months ago my husband’s Grandmother (GG) died.  She had lived an incredible life and made it to 88 but it now was time to say goodbye.

At the funeral service I was reminded of our leaky house because over and over people spoke of GG finally being at home; in her final home.  It struck me as I listened just how shallow I am; for as good as my home is, it is very temporary.  It will be destroyed or repossessed by the bank or I will die and my children will live in it, or sell it.  I cannot hold onto it forever and when I think about it, why would I want to?  It causes me a lot of expensive problems as much as I like the interior d├ęcor!  Our hearts crave a permanent home but we are guaranteed none of it in this life.  So how can we satisfy this craving?

Will Weedon on Issues etc. was explaining this concept of a permanent home by describing the concept of Zion.  Zion means defend/fortress (or baldness!!) and the Israelites named the rocky (bald) mountain by the temple mount and between the Kidron and Triopian valleys Zion.  It was captured for Israel by David from the Jebusites (2 Sam 5).  In the Psalms Zion often describes the temple mount and by extension can include Jerusalem, Israel, and God’s people.  In a greater way Zion was the place that the Jews looked to for their hope and communion with God.  The Israelites were given their land by God and felt that it would be their home forever but they were wrong.  It was taken from them because of their rebellion toward God and they realized that Zion was not their permanent place to meet with God but rather a picture of something better, and permanent to come. 

As Christians when we say goodbye to our houses, our family and our lives to pass into eternity, we are going to our permanent home.  This final home is a good home with no more struggles, no more tears, no more pain.  This can carry us through the dark times in our lives because we have the comfort of knowing that this world is not all there is, that our Father in Heaven has prepared a place, a Zion for us where we will go to be with Him and with his Son and with all those others who have simply believed His good news.  Moths will not eat it, thieves will not break in and steal, it will not be destroyed by earthquake or flood or war or leaky house syndrome but it will be a place of rest forever.  And so we farewelled our Grandmother with a mix of sadness and joy; sadness because we missed her but joy because she was going to a place which we yearn to go to also.

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