God who prepares a home for us

Published on December 08, 2023

The topic of home brings me great delight and more than a bit of angst. 

I believe we are designed to long for a home—a safe place, a shelter from the harsh world, a place where we are nourished and comforted and can grow with those we love. All my favorite memories are of home, whether as a child laughing with family gathered around my parents’ kitchen island, or walking through the front doors of my adult home to be immersed in my children’s mess, chaos, and laughter. Home conjures images of our children crowded on the couch for a movie, holding hands in prayer around our giant farm table, running through the kitchen as I stir a big pot of soup for dinner, or swinging from the trees in the backyard. I hope and pray their favorite memories will be of home, too—their favorite meal, the smoke of a bonfire on a hot July evening, laughter too late into the night.

I love intentionally making our home comfortable and functional, a space where people feel welcome and safe, where even our grown children will want to return for years to come. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that; we are called to love our people, and this is one way we do it.

But what about the days when this isn’t what home feels like at all? What about the days when home is a place of sibling squabbles and hurt feelings and teenagers who don’t want to engage in family activities? What about the days when our lack as parents is so glaringly obvious and we are tempted to slap the banner of “failure” over our home and our best efforts, painfully aware of the ways we have come up short?

The truth I spent many years running from is this: try as we might, we can never create the perfect home for our children. Jesus has gone to heaven to prepare a perfect home for them, and our greatest responsibility is to point them that way.

Our lack of ability to create the perfect home here on earth should be an indicator to our children and a reminder to ourselves that we were created for a better home.

Over the years, as my children have grown and many have moved out on their own, as my parents have aged and family events have taken place far from where I live, my perspective has shifted about where we should make our home.

I have often thought about Abraham, called to pick up and leave the life he had always known to go to a place he had never been. I think of myself at age eighteen making a similar but very different journey, traveling to the other side of the world for a year that turned into a lifetime. I want my children to always have a place to come home to, yes, but more than that, I want them to go where God calls them to go—whether that is to the other side of the world or the other side of the neighborhood.

I hate to say it, friend, but maybe if I do it will encourage you too: often, I have made the idea of the perfect, comfortable home my idol, and forgotten we are just like Abraham, sojourners just passing through.

Hebrews 11 says Abraham went out, “not knowing where he was going.” By faith, it says, he went to a foreign land and lived in tents, “because he was looking forward to the city whose designer and builder is God.” It continues, “[Abraham] acknowledged they were strangers and exiles on this earth…they desired a better country, that is a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God for he has prepared for them a city.”

            He has prepared for us a city.

            He has prepared for us a home.

And this is what I long to teach my children. While our longing for home can be partially satisfied here and now, we won’t ever truly find home this side of heaven. 

More than I want them to dream of meals around our old paint-stained and knife-nicked farm table, I want them to long for the banquet table that awaits us in heaven.

And I teach them this by fixing my eyes on eternity in my own life, in their presence. 

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus constantly reminds his disciples he didn’t just come to save us, but he was also going to prepare a place for us. Even as death drew near to Jesus, he fixed his eyes on something better: an eternal kingdom with his Father, and an eternity spent with you and me.

What if we could do the same? What if we could lift our eyes from all the troubles here on this earth, all the heartache and hardship surrounding us, and focus for a moment on an eternity with Jesus where all things are made right and restored. No matter how hard things are right now, if we know Jesus, then this is not all there is.

In 2 Corinthians, Paul puts it this way, “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the unseen. For the things that are seen are transient but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

And Paul says the secret to experiencing this deep peace of being renewed day by day is to turn our eyes to the eternal, to the unseen. We aren’t just to vaguely know that heaven is out there somewhere, some place in the sky where we will go one day. No, we are instructed to set our minds on things of heaven.

We have an eternal promise and it’s this: the hurt that is overwhelming right now? It will be replaced with joy. That broken relationship? It will be restored. That deep ache? It will be filled. The thing that feels so consuming? It will be consumed by the goodness, love, and mercy of God. We will stand victorious because of Christ! And this is what we are called to focus on, to fix our eyes and our hearts and our minds on.

And even more than a safe space to land, our kids need this promise.

Friend, I encourage you to fill your home with memories and the people you love. Fill it with praise and laughter, things that glorify the Lord. But hold it all loosely. And when your kids move out or your besties move away, when you take a new job or move to a new city, when you feel a bit displaced even in your own home, when all your best intentions for creating a perfect and safe space for your people fall flat and you feel like you have failed, be reminded we are citizens of a better country, a heavenly one. Let’s be fully present wherever we find ourselves while remembering we are truly just passing through on our way to our glorious forever home.

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Katie Davis Majors

Katie Davis Majors is the author of Our Faithful God, Safe All Along, and the New York Times bestselling author of Kisses from Katie and Daring to Hope. She is the founder of Amazima Ministries, an organization that aims to empower people in Uganda through authentic relationships, education, community strengthening, vocational training, and spiritual discipleship. Katie, her husband, Benji, and their children currently live in Tennessee. Visit Katie at Katie Davis Majors.com.

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