Have you ever heard the phrase, “Home is where the heart is”? Have you ever watched the movie? It’s a real tear-jerker, as Natalie Portman plays Novalee Nation, a pregnant teenager stranded in WalMart with only $5.55 in her pocket. I am in the middle of the book right now, and the eccentric yet friendly strangers who take care of her just warm my heart! As much as I despise clichés, they have a stem. Stereotypes and wives tales alike, though maybe corrupted over time, come from somewhere.
While I don’t know the origin of the expression, “Home is where the heart is,” consider this:
God has called me to be a nomad.
Ephesians 3:16-18 (ESV) says, “that according the to riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
As another school year winds down, I find myself facing a decision – to stay or to go. Where should I spend my last summer as a college student? Camp? An office job? Waitressing? What about after graduation? Where will I live? Midwest? New Orleans? Will I even be in the U.S.? Though I have toiled over these commitments for the past couple weeks (okay, months), I have come to a resting place. God wants me to be “at home” wherever my feet may land. How can that be?
The Holy Spirit envelopes me with the Resurrection power that frees me from myself and strengthens me for the day ahead. My inner being is satisfied with His steadfast love (Psalm 90:14). It is not about my outer circumstances or surroundings. God’s will is that I find my home in him.
And that power through his spirit? Is it not of myself! Just the other day, my sister texted me, “Do you think people are inherently good or evil?” I answered, “Evil.” I don’t believe humans could ever obtain righteousness on their own. We are in a desperate condition of incessant need, but the beauty of grace is God swooping in at our lowest points and making beauty out of our ashes. He takes the broken pieces and redeems them.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV) tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
“in your inner being…”
Again, the writer is pointing to what matters – the heart. It is not about where you are geographically. Whether far from all family and friends or near to the ones you love, you can be at home. Home isn’t circumstantial, but rather a condition of the heart.
“SO THAT…” (As a future English teacher, I am highlighting these important transition words!)
“in your hearts…being rooted and grounded in love…”
As I continue to ponder this “nomadic Christian” perspective, I came across a verse in Proverbs that affirmed this idea.
Proverbs 12:3 says, “No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved (ESV).
Friends, it is not of our own accord. To begin to understand the vastness of God’s love for us begins with the work of the Holy Spirit. Our firm foundation, our solid ground, our root of righteousness is Jesus Christ. He stands steadfast when the winds of adversity blow. His love for you and me is unwavering.
Romans 8:38-39 (ESV) brings us this beautiful message, “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
God yearns to be close to your heart. He wants you to find your home in him. If you’re wandering and restless, come home. He’s waiting for you. You don’t have to go anywhere. Wherever you happen to be reading this is good enough. All you have to do is knock on the door. His Holy Spirit will do the work, as your roots dig down into the firm foundation of Christ, as you dip your toes in the ocean of His love, and as your empty heart begins to overflow with joy.