After Sister Williams read the announcements during our Sunday morning worship services, she made a plea to the congregation soliciting prayer and support for a church member who lost all of her possessions in a weekend house fire. Everything she worked for went up in horrific flames within a matter of minutes. To add insult to injury, she was informed that the job she worked on for the past eighteen years was being eliminated. I couldn’t imagine what my emotional or psychological state would be if I were in her shoes.
Oddly, I began recalling excerpts of media reports from past devastations. I felt saddened by the floods along the gulf coast of the United States, the mud slides and wild fires in the West, twisters hitting the Midwest, earthquakes and the Tsunami shattering life in India and Asia. Thousands of people watched as their homes and life possessions were swallowed up, washed, burned or blown away. In practically all of these cases, people fled their homes with just the clothes on their backs. Often, there was not enough time to go through and pick out the things they wanted to take with them.
Generally “home” represents a place of familiarity, comfort and safety that you yearn to return to when you’re away. Even if you live alone, there are elements of things you love and cherish displayed all around, giving you a warm and fuzzy feeling. If the home where you grew up brings back sad and unhealthy emotions, you now have the ability to rise above the people and things that caused the pain and alienation.
Suddenly, the choir shattered my reminiscing moment with the song “We’ll Understand It Better By and By.” As they sang the second verse and refrain, amazingly this song was appropriate for the adversity our church sister and other members of the congregation were experiencing:
We are often destitute of the things that life demands,
Want of food and want of shelter, thirsty hills and barren lands;
We are trusting in the Lord, and according to God’s Word,
We will understand it better by and by.
By and by, when the morning comes,
When the saints of God are gathered home,
We’ll tell the story how we’ve overcome,
For we’ll understand it better by and by.
All too often we take for granted the creature comfort of our homes. We collect stuff year after year, believing that “things” make a house a home. However, if there’s no heart in a house, warmth, sentimentality and comfort will remain absent from it ever becoming our humble abode.
Everyone’s current circumstances, good and bad, are not permanent. I believe our heavenly home will be an authentic place of comfort, rest and security. As long as our heart is grounded on the promises of God, we will never have to worry about being displaced or loosing everything we own.
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