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“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so,
would I have told you that 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.”
2018 has been a self-contained portrait of a brutal seven-year search
for a permanent new home for the Miller’s – yes, God asked us to let go
of a “well established American life” in the Pacific Northwest
and follow and trust Him into a new season of ministry.
And while He has been faithful, the journey has tested our limits and then some
and caused an unrelenting feeling of being unsettled and untethered to … anything but Him.
a series of long-term promising and generous tent-making client opportunities unfolded …
from Santa Rosa, CA to Portland, Maine … from Carmel, CA to Naples, FL …
in more than one instance we were even informed by our Agent and existing staff
that we were the perfect fit and the likely choice going forward.
And then one open door closed . . after another . . after another.
All it would have taken was for even just one estate client to say
“I choose you – welcome home!” …
but the early winter winds find our hands holding nothing
but heartbreak and exhaustion.
The short-term distraction and medicine for the soul?
Get in a grand kid fix and an early Christmas in Canada …
and while the 2 weeks there offered many precious moments,
nothing would produce such a flood of emotion and hope
more than our crossing over the border back into the US . .
after a series of all the normal questions, the Border Agent changed gears
after being questioned about the status of the roads ahead
(horrendous winter weather – in November) …
He very warmly assured us that we would safely find our way
and that the roads were fine . .
and then with a pause and a broad and genuine smile . .
he simply stated “Welcome home”.
I melted inside and out – it was a whisper of hope from heaven.
This indeed is the very message of Christmas – in a world overflowing with rejection,
the very Son of God came to our home to make sure we have opportunity to find our way to His –
in spite of the fact that sooner or later we all reject His way.
In fact, Jesus pointedly informed His closest followers
that His coming, His departure and His imminent return was all about getting us home.
And while we long for that “career breakthrough”, that friendship that “stays true”
and even that marriage and family that never “shows us the door”,
the deepest universal longing of the soul is to know that we are forever safe
in the hands of the One who created us.
(a name chosen because He would save His people from their sins)?
We all do – we all hit bottom and wonder where is God.
Christmas was meant to be the answer.
Think about it: He came as a baby not a billionaire and was homeless his very first night.
He walked on our dust, was held in contempt by his own brothers
and scoffed at by all the authorities and celebrities of His day
and even took our deserved sentence on a cross where His own Father could not be found.
He got close to our deepest sorrows and stared down death and despair
by laying down His own life for ours.
But can He really be trusted with our quest peace and hope?
If He had stayed dead and buried then the answer would surely be “no”.
Add a certified resurrection to the plot then consider the words of John 10:18,
“No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily.
For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again.
For this is what my Father has commanded.”
This One known as the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)
is not only preparing a place for you and I this very moment while interceding to the Father
on our behalf in all of our trials and tribulations . . . He is also gently yet persistently
knocking on the door of our life.
When we receive Him, He mercifully receives us
and whispers two so very unforgettable words,
Lord Jesus, we are so very much like Thomas in our struggle for trust.
We wonder where you are, where You are going next,
and wonder if our own failure will block our way to heaven.
You remind and assure us this Christmas season anew with these words,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.
He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies” (John 14:6; 11:25)
I’m coming home, Amen.
How is God encouraging you today?