Home

I’m what most people would call a homebody. I don’t like leaving home and therefore do not do it often (I’m completely serious; I barely get out of my room unless it’s for church or piano lessons), and when I’m away from my house up on the mountain for too long I begin to feel worn out and sick. Just the sight of home can bring a smile to my face and steady my heart. But less than three years ago I called an entirely different house my home and wouldn’t even dream of calling where I’m currently sitting home. When I first moved, it felt strange to sleep in the house on the mountain because it wasn’t home yet. I still was attached to my previous house. (Forgive me if I overuse the words home and house a little bit; I’m afraid it cannot be avoided.)

You see, there is a decided difference between a house and a home. A house is a building. It’s a set location and cannot be changed. A home, however, is a different story. It’s an idea. You don’t have to even live in the house for it to be your home. It changes whenever you do. It’s where the things you love most are, where you feel comfortable and the most relaxed. It could be a leaky old shack with glass missing from the windows, but you wouldn’t care if it were your home. Everyone needs someplace to call home.

When I think of my home, I get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. I don’t know what you get, but I assume it’s something similar. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? Home? No matter what state it’s in it is hard to find fault with it. But guess what? Our homes on Earth are temporary. They will crumble away to dust just like everything else. Because no matter how much you love this home here, it’s only preparing you for something better.

Heaven.

Heaven is our truly perfect home. It is so beyond anything we could create on Earth or even dream of. Its majesty and beauty are unparalleled and cannot be compared with anything else. The image we have in our heads when we think of Heaven does not come anywhere near the real thing. The places we call home down here on the blue planet are giving us periphery hints as to the glory of Heaven.

And to think there is a mansion waiting for me! I pray that you, as well, have given your heart to God so that we may rejoice together in Heaven, which my mother likes to describe as the party that will never end.

So you know what? As strange as it sounds, I’m excited for death, because that is the day my Father takes me away from suffering and I go where pain, sadness, heartbreak, and every other evil, Satan-infused thing does not exist, so that for the first time I can properly say, I’m home.

Thank God for Fleas!

Now, you’re probably looking at that title and going, Who on earth would say that?

Hi. Welcome to Christianity.

Our subject of the day is a woman named Corrie ten Boom (yes, that’s her real name. Isn’t it fantastic?), who lived in Holland during World War II. Long story short, she and the rest of her family were caught aiding the oppressed Jews and sent to concentration camps. She was put into this absolutely disgusting bunker with about eighty women in a tiny, tiny space where hygiene was pretty much nonexistent and keeping illness from spreading was impossible. Just to add another horrible thing to the pile, this particular bunker was completely infested with fleas. They were everywhere. It was like a plague.

May as well just forget comfort existed.

Corrie had smuggled a Bible in, however, and was able to teach the fellow women every night. Now, Corrie could not have had more than a couple of hours to rest with how hard the soldiers worked the inmates, and she used that time to teach.

Of course, if the soldiers caught her with a religious artifact (or doing anything at all that they didn’t particularly like, most of the time they didn’t need much of a reason) Corrie could be shot on sight. It was very dangerous. A single sound heard outside the door and it would be like my brother when he’s up to mischief – shut up and pretend you’re doing nothing.

But for nights on end, no one came. No one at all. Corrie and the other inmates were rather confused about this until Corrie overheard the soldiers saying that no one wanted to come to her bunker because of what? The fleas.

So you know what Corrie was thanking God for?

The fleas!

The thing is, maybe you have something in your life right now that bothers you or is just plain bad. It doesn’t feel like it’s helping you at all. It could be something as simple as not being warm enough this winter, or a subject decidedly more serious. Do you have the faith to praise God for it?

In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you through Christ Jesus.

– 1 Thessalonians 5:18