Nearing Home

  • Dec. 1, 2016
  • #9024

Getting to know God gives us hope as we anticipate going to heaven, our true home.

Nearing Home

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a special memory.

You know, when I was a kid, my family and I always enjoyed taking road trips – sometimes they would be long, but sometimes we were just day trippers on Sunday afternoon. Daddy would drive out Liberty Road way past our farm, make a right hand turn on a country lane that we had never traveled and, oh my goodness, we were on an adventure! And where we might have lunch? Who knew? All I knew is that we were seeing places, we were looking out at landscapes I had never seen, and meeting people at road side fruit stands we had never met and it was fun!

Still, as wonderful as all these trips were, in the late afternoon when we would drive through the intersection in the little town of Woodlawn, invariably my sisters and I would chime, “We’re almost home!” Less than a mile from our house, I’d already be thinking about kicking off my shoes, bounding upstairs to my bedroom, washing my face, and getting ready for the pot roast mother had put on low in the oven earlier in the day. Nothing’s better than walking through your front door after you’ve been away, feeling welcomed, sniffing the aroma of dinner cooking, and being with the people that you love best. Our home was a wonderful place. So much so that whenever we were away from it, and were heading on our way back, we’d celebrate; we would say, “We’re almost home!”

Think of the times when you’re nearing the end of a long, tiring trip. Maybe it’s a familiar freeway exit, with home five minutes away. Maybe it’s the final approach to your hometown airport. Maybe it’s the last quarter mile of a backpacking trip, with your car waiting in the parking lot to return you to civilization, and a hot shower! Just knowing that home is near can add a spring to your step and the stamina you need to keep going.

So it is when we consider heaven. Every step, every day, every moment brings us closer. And just knowing that our glorious home is near, right around the corner, it should give us fresh courage to face the day. In fact, I will admit that many times when I wheel through the front door of our house after a trip, I will say, “One day down, one day closer to heaven; we’re almost home.” I love thinking of heaven as my goal, as the finish line – well, actually, it’s the beginning line isn’t it? Earth is nothing more than the title page of a far more beautiful story that will begin in heaven. So make eternal life your goal. John 17 tells us that it begins with the knowledge of God. And the more they get to know God, the more your longings for heaven will increase. The more heaven will feel like home. And that is such good news to any of us who struggle with pain, or have a disability, or are feeling the aches of older age. The very idea of heaven, our real home, makes everyday hardships more than bearable – they become road signs, reminding us that right around the corner, just over the next bend, heaven is going to break on our horizon.

So wherever you are in your journey, get a foretaste of heaven today by setting time aside to speak to Him and listen for His voice. Just think of those best-of-all words, “We’re almost home!” What could be sweeter? Today, ask the Lord to set your pace, and lead the way. And if you begin to falter, if you feel overwhelmed by the day-to-day demands of life, remember, how near, and real and dear and close heaven is. And also the fact that God is nearer still. One day down, one day closer to heaven and guess what, we’ll all be singing we’re home sweet home.

© Joni and Friends

 

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