I am looking for a house.
A place to live.
A place to wrap up at the end of a difficult day and hide away, and feel like I am off limits to everyone out there.
I currently have a place to live, but for different reasons I need to find something else.
So, I read the ads in the paper. I peruse desirable neighborhoods, spying “FOR RENT” signs. I skim the internet boards that remind me of the bulletin boards at college, full of handwritten notes and “Roomate Wanted” signs.
My children eagerly await news of finding a house. They have certain things in mind that would make it home for them. They like walking through potential houses with me, giving their input and the thumbs-up or thumbs-down. In the meantime, we have had a few anxious conversations about finding this elusive house. Speaking of anxiety;
Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going. ” Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
The Lord knows that our hearts are troubled, bothered, worried…about many things.
Like, “Where on earth are we going to live?”
Good news, we can stop worrying. He has it all figured out. We might be as confused as Thomas, who always seems to ask the questions no one else wants to ask. We can admit that we really don’t understand what Jesus is talking about. To us, He is all riddles and hidden meanings.
I love to ponder what the Father’s house will be like. What will my room* be like? Will there be a door with my name on it? Will it have a key? Will I be in charge of decorating (help) or is that part of His preparations? Will it have a big window where I can look out and see forever? Will it be close to where the Lord is or will I have to get on the heavenly transport system to go visit Him? I know these are silly questions, but that is part of who I am, curious and always pondering.
Recently I found someone in my house in the middle of the night that was not supposed to be there. There will be none of that in the Father’s House. No intruders, no one who refused their own personal invitation to live there as a Son or Daughter. There will be no one coming around to sell goods or services. There will be no peddlers of false religions and handy arguments.
Meanwhile, Jesus is patient and kind with our frustrations, our questions, our doubts. I think he would rather us voice our questions, like Thomas, instead of just nodding to His face, and then hide a sulking and skeptical heart.
Until He takes us to our new home, Jesus also has things covered while we’re still here. He makes His Home in us. He continues in the same chapter…
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. John 14:23 (italics added)
This is comforting, even if I don’t understand everything about it. So even though I am here in between houses, with my reservation also on the Father’s House guest list, He is with me. And I am at home.
* I have never understood why some versions translate the Greek word here meaning “dwelling places” into the word mansions. Maybe I am a little oversensitive to our American bigger-is-better mentality.