A Heart of Thanksgiving: Thankful For a Home

Thanksgiving.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word?  Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods?  Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel?  Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances?  These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving:  Living a Life of Thankfulness”.  I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.

Here is day twenty-four with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for the home that we have and the home that we are headed to.

Day Twenty-Four:
Thankful For a Home

“But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.” 
2 Peter 3:13 (NIV)

Today I am thankful for a place to call home — several such places, in fact; including one that exceeds all others and will never fade or crumble.  I suppose some would find it a rather odd song to be singing in church, but this morning I found myself singing, “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.”  To be fair, it was six-thirty in the morning and I was alone with God as I cleaned bathrooms, floors, and doors to get the building ready for our worship gathering.  Yet, there I was, worshiping God with a Christmas song that acknowledges a longing to be home.

I am thankful for the home I grew up in with my parents and my brothers and sister.  It is the place where I first learned about God, about love, and about learning to get along even in the midst of conflict.  I am thankful for the home I have with my family today.  It is a home that has existed in three different locations over the years; but regardless of the house it has been in, it is a home established by the power of God for His glory.  I am thankful for the church gatherings I have called home.  From The Country Church as a child to Pleasant View Bible Church in my early teenage years, to the Etna Green Church of Christ as a young adult and now at the Deer Run Church of Christ as a not so young adult, these church homes have each taught me something about living for Christ.  I am thankful because each one of these homes have had a part in teaching me that there is a better home yet to come.

So, as I sang “I’ll be home for Christmas“, my mind couldn’t help but think of the various homes I have longed for over the years.  And as I thought of the homes I have been a part of here on earth, my deeper longing turned toward the home that is yet to come.  And then I realized that it is God’s desire that I live as a resident of His home even as I find myself not home yet.  I am living as one who is traveling through this life with an awareness of an eternal home.  As such, I ought to live each day as a resident of that home even as I long for the day I will fully enter that home and find rest.

I pray that you and I would be thankful for the things we can learn from the homes we experience here on earth.  I pray that our inner longing for a home to belong to would be satisfied here on earth even as we understand a greater fulfillment is yet to come.  I pray that we would not dismiss the lessons God has taught us even in homes that were less than ideal.  I pray that we would not just long for a home of righteousness, but that we would be actively involved in sharing the good news of that home with others.

In prayer,