There's No Place Like Home

Written by Jeff Carlson on .

ruby slippersOne of the most important issues of life is finding a place we call "home." As the old saying goes, "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home." Whether we realize it or not, we are all hardwired to long for a place we call "home." The confusing part of that issue is the fact that where we live may not ever feel like home. Sometimes we live in places that just end up being a place where we sleep at night. Home is far more than a bed to sleep in at night. Home is a feeling, a state of mind, a place that means something to us on a personal and/or spiritual level that cannot be put into words. And because the average American moves about 11 times in their life, the idea of finding a real home can feel almost impossible for some.

One of the great stories about the search for home is told in the 1939 classic movie "The Wizard of Oz" starring Judy Garland. In the movie, Judy portrays a little girl named Dorothy that runs away from home and can't seem to ever get back there. The entire movie follows Dorothy's travels in her search to go back to her home in Kansas. Throughout Dorothy's journey she runs into a wicked witch that seems to make the return trip seemingly impossible. The culmination of the movie is when Dorothy finally clicks her ruby slippers together and says over and over, "There's no place like home. There's no place like home." The movie ends with Dorothy back in her Kansas home where she lives "happily ever after" with her family. The power of that timeless movie endures until today because we all want to go home.
 
Now the reason we ultimately struggle with the idea of finding a home that meets our deepest needs is because home is really about finding our lost life with the Lord. You see, we didn't leave Kansas, but we did leave a place of fellowship, security and love with the Lord in Eden in Genesis 3. The Bible tells us we made a decision to leave our home with the Lord. We have tried to create a new home on our own, but somehow it never has seemed quite right. And like "The Wizard of Oz," we just keep running into that wicked witch called the devil. This battle to go home again just seems to keep going on and on. Sadly, there are many today that just aren't ever sure they will find their real home again and live "happily ever after."

What is so amazing about this search for our real home is the Good News that the Lord Jesus Christ left His home so we could find ours. Our Lord left the security and blessings of Heaven to became one of us, taking on our human nature as the Son of God, to pay for our sins. Our Lord never found a true home in this world in His work to restore our home. Our Savior told us in Luke 9:58,
"Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head."
Our Lord's sacrifice, love and eventual Cross gave us the thing we all have been looking for, but were never sure we could find again. Our Lord opened the way for us to go home and to receive that warm welcome back to our Fathers' House as told in the wonderful story of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15:11-32. The Good News of the Gospel is the fact we can go home and live "happily ever after" with the Lord.

The Bible picks up this central theme of the Lord's love for us and His desire for us to return home in the Bible's journey to the Promised Land. From the beginning of humanity's choice to leave Eden the Lord's purpose has always been for His people to return there one day. That journey home was started by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and continued through Moses and Joshua. The Lord never left us any doubt we were going home to live with Him. The Promised Land became the earthly witness to that wonderful plan and desire of the Lord to live "happily ever after" with us.

As we fast forward to today, the desire to go home and find a Promised Land where we can live with the Lord again continues with the modern State of Israel. The Lord began restoring our home in 1948 to announce to the world that because sin has been forgiven through the Cross we now had a home we could go back to again. As millions of Israelis have found a new home in the Promised Land, so too millions of Christian pilgrims have also begun to travel there as well in their pursuit of finding that same home. When a believer goes to Israel today they have simply come home.

Going home for the Christian is not just a trip to Heaven when we die. Somewhere along the last 2000 years the Church got lost in Heaven and forgot about Earth, Israel and the Promised Land. The Lord's goal has never been to relocate our home to Heaven . The Lord's goal has always been to bring Heaven to Earth. That is why the Lord's people have been praying for the last 2000 years, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven". Understanding that our home is real place on Earth is the heart of making our redemption real and something that everyone can experience now, whether we take a trip to Israel or not.

Over the last 25 years, the Lord has given me the wonderful privilege of leading trips to the Promised Land. My hope and prayer for everyone is that we would come to deeply understand that we have a home with the Lord and that like Dorothy we can all say in this season of our lives that there truly is "No Place like Home." May that thought thrill and satisfy every longing heart as we look to our Lord's return and our everlasting home with Him.

This year in Jerusalem!