We crept ahead an inch at a time through driving snow. I peered ahead past our line of cars but spotted no reason for our delay beyond the slick nature of the snowy road surface. My knuckles gripped the steering wheel as if the intensity of their grasp could ensure safety. A fire-truck sped by us on the right shoulder; a tow-truck on the left. I massaged my right knee to keep it from cramping from the tension. Ten minutes. Fifteen. Thirty. What if?
Then two badly damaged cars materialized, one against the left guardrail, the other nose toward the ditch on the right. We crept by only to pass three—no five—no six or seven more each showing the effects of crashes. Fortunately, they were receiving help although no police had yet appeared to shut down the road.
With a sigh of relief we exited the highway and soon turned into our own driveway. Home! Warmth. Shelter. Is there anything like it on a cold, snowy day? We turned up the thermostat, put on coffee, and relaxed.
I could feel the tension gradually dissipate as I sat there drinking my coffee on our couch. I looked around: the familiar pictures on the wall, the china cabinet, the dining room table, the rug, the kitchen counter. I smiled at Mary Helen across the room in her recliner. “I am blessed,” I thought.
That old cliché is so true. Be it ever so humble there’s no place like home. We often take our homes for granted. They’re just there. Ready to receive us whenever we come home. Then my thoughts circled the globe. How must Syrian refugees suffer; driven from their homes. How terrible to lose your home in a typhoon; or, like a friend’s daughter, to have it burn to the ground.
Even animals, create homes: burrows in the ground, hollows in trees, dens in caves, nests.
Having a home is so basic—so wonderful. And yet we read that Jesus warned an erstwhile follower that; “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head”(Matt.8:20). Think of it. The ultimate source of all shelter didn’t have his own home on earth. He went without, he suffered, and he died for our sins so that we might find eternal refuge.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms, if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go…I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am”(John 14:1-3). Wow! All those who trust in Jesus for their salvation, have a home being prepared for them in heaven. “This world is not my [only] home. I’m just a passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”
Actually, throughout the ages God has been a refuge for his people. “Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations…He is my refuge and my fortress”(Psalm 90:1, 91:2). We need not only a home for our body now but a refuge for our souls—a place where we can go in thought and prayer, a place where we find comfort, acceptance, encouragement and love. When the storms of life bear down on us, let us retreat there often. And let’s give thanks for our earthly homes.