Home – Finding a Place of Renewal and Strength
When you think of home do you picture a place of rest, renewal, and strength? You might like to think of home as your haven and a place that you can find renewal after the world beats you up. Maybe you define home as where you find your strength to go back out tomorrow and “do the world” again. Or perhaps just the thought of home sends you in a different direction, far from a place of rest or a way to regain your strength. Whatever your definition of home, it is important to realize that the home or place itself holds no power. It is, however, instead, the people connected to that home, the relationships, which form our perception of a home. If we are looking for a place of renewal and strength, we need to look no further than to the nonjudgmental home that Christ offers us.
Sometimes we find that our current homes are just not what we desire. They may meet the criteria of home but in the face of things they just don’t measure up. Try this little exercise with me to see how your house measures up. Grab 2 pieces of paper approximately the same size and something to write with. Any scrap of paper will do and anything that writes whether pencil, pen, marker, whatever it doesn’t matter so don’t make this fun challenge difficult. Now place one piece of paper on a firm surface. Get your hand in position with your writing instrument and take the second piece of paper covering up both your hand and the paper below it. The object is to not be able to see what you are drawing. Now, without looking, follow the below instructions. Be honest and don’t cheat with a peek.
Developing a Home
- Draw a line for the ground
- Draw a square house
- Add a triangular roof
- Draw a rectangular door
- Draw a small circle for the doorknob
- Add a chimney on top
- Draw a window
- Draw a tree next to the house
- Add a small flower
- Finally, draw a cloud in the sky above your house.
When you finish, uncover your drawing, and see how you did. Use the following guidelines to score your drawing.
- Give yourself 2 points if the house is touching the ground
- Gain 2 points if the roof is actually on the house
- Score 3 points if the window is inside the house
- Total yourself 3 points if the cloud is above the house
- Win 3 points if the tree is not inside the house
- Achieve 5 points if the chimney is on the roof
- Attain 5 points if the doorknob is actually on the door
- Grant 5 points if the flower is outside the house
How did you do? What does your house look like? Would you want to live in the place you drew? If someone didn’t know how your drawing was created would they judge you? Does the score even matter, I scored a 28! Are you impressed with my drawing? Would you like to live in my house? The thing is that we have judgment both within our homes and outside of our homes. There are problems and this is why home is not always a place of renewal or rest. It is not our physical home that gives us our strength but the relationships we hold within it that do. Because not all relationships within our homes are good it is important to recognize that if we are seeking rest, renewal, strength, and peace we must look to our higher home.
Finding a Home of Peace
When we build our homes on the firm foundation of Christ, we can find the peace and strength we desire with the grace of now that we can share. If we seek a home that renews us or builds us up, then we need to place our focus on the one that raises us in a new reality and helps us find our true home where we can find the peace and rest, we seek. And this is not just a home somewhere over the rainbow, in a future land but one that is in our reach now, here on earth, granted to us in grace. And one that we, in turn, can share with others around us.
In our focus verse this week, Christ finds judgment from both inside and outside of His own earthly home. But Christ reminds each of us that we are precious members of God’s family. It doesn’t matter where we come from but where we are going. As followers of Christ, we are valuable to each other, and Christ shows us how He will expand that ability for everyone to be part of God’s family. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, He consistently shows us how God’s definition and expectations of love and forgiveness are for everyone. The “family” that we should honor, welcome, and love is not an inner circle but one that is unimaginably large. When we love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength we see who our family is and the home that we can build on earth with one another.
“Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister, and mother.”Mark 3:35 (NLT)
A Home for Everyone
Home, our place of renewal and strength is found in the relationships of our spiritual family. And it is this family that ultimately is more important and lasts longer than the relationships formed in our physical families. For God’s family is accepting and doesn’t exclude anyone. It is important to recognize and provide warm relationships among God’s family in our rather impersonal world. The “church,” God’s hands and feet should be giving loving personalized care to others. For many times this is the only place that it is found. We must treat others as Christ treats us welcoming all who believe in Him as there should be no barriers among the followers of Christ. Christ didn’t show partiality, and neither should we. He allows everyone the privilege of obeying God and becoming part of His family. Grace is free and provides rest, renewal, and strength.
Let us be challenged to offer a place of rest and renewal to others through the home of the church. Allow our love to convict our hearts to offer others the unbound grace of Christ that He offers us. Let us find our motivation to serve and act as ambassadors for Christ so all may find the renewal and strength needed to face the world. And lastly let us fully know that home is always where Christ is, and it is a place of rest, renewal, strength, and grace.
In Christ’s love,
God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.Billy Graham
What are Your Thoughts?
Do you long for a home that offers rest, renewal, and strength? Have you accepted a home with Christ? Share your thoughts on the resting place found only through the grace of Jesus and how not only can you find a home there, but how you can share that hope with others.