In January 2020, I was living in Wuhan, China. In the span of a few hours Covid-19 became more than a flu and I was suddenly leaving my home of almost four years, not knowing it would be a permanent move, or knowing really what would come next.
In the last three years I have lived in four countries and have packed my bags and slept in over 30 different places. I lived out of what could fit in only a carry-on suitcase and backpack for eight months. I lost 90% of my personal belongings along the way. When I finally signed a lease in West Des Moines a year ago and bought myself a throw pillow, a blender, and a laundry basket, I cried tears of relief because for whatever reason, those things seemed to symbolize that I finally had a permanent home. They made me feel that everything would, with time, finally be alright after what was a really hard season.
But here’s the thing. My apartment in Wuhan wasn’t a permanent home. Those 30 moves were definitely not permanent homes. That apartment where I signed a lease in West Des Moines? Also not permanent - I’m moving to the East side of town in August. And things still haven’t been perfect. There have been plenty of things to rejoice in, but there have also been a lot of tears in this new “permanent” home.
What I’ve learned in all this is that no home, no location we are at, in this lifetime, is our permanent home. Our permanent home is yet to come. When Jesus is praying, “Your Kingdom Come” he is praying towards our permanent home, the one described in Revelation 21:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Our most joyful experience in this lifetime can’t come close to comparing to the joy we will have in God’s Kingdom. Our most painful losses and rejections will be forgotten because He will have made all things new. What hope that is! This is not our permanent home, this is not how it will always be. There will be a day where we dwell with God, where our home will be with Him. May the comfort and joy of each home here point us to long more and more for the home waiting for us with Jesus. May it cause us to pray “Your kingdom come.”
Lord, we praise you for all the good you bring us in this home, but we also long for what is yet to come. Give us hope and peace and give us boldness to make your kingdom known here as we wait. May your kingdom come soon. Amen.