What is it about ‘going home’ that erases cares and concerns from our hearts? When we grow up, we long for our remembered ‘home, sweet home’. A place where we can ‘be’ who we are, without wondering if we belong or fit in?
When I left for college, seventy-five miles from home, financial considerations in buying a bus ticket home became a concern. My parents said not to come home for six weeks. This length of time seemed eons long. I learned the phrase from the inside out – home-sickness.
As the years continued, I remember how Mom longed to go to her Heavenly Home. She kept looking for her ‘exit lane’. She thought Christmas would be a good day to celebrate going home. God had other plans.
Through the years Mom often gave me a new song to learn. Goin’ Home
is one of them. I thought the lyrics sweet. Goin' home, goin' home, I'm a goin' home; Quiet-like, some still day, I'm just goin' home. It's not far, just close by, Through an open door; Work all done, care laid by, Going to fear no more. Mother's there 'spectin' me, Father's waiting too; Lots o' folk gathered there, all the friends I knew.
I understood. In my mind’s eye I always knew in my heart, how welcome I would be when I drove into the driveway in Watonga, Oklahoma. One by one, my parents went to their Heavenly Home, and then this song took on more meaning and understanding. Each time I tried to sing this song, the emotional knowing became tears and sobs, instead of singing memorable melody.
My Dad read one of my Grandmother Anna Suderman’s favorite poems during her celebration service. His dramatic portrayal of the words made everyone present ponder the words of Edgar A Guest’s poem. It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home, A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam… Afore ye really ’preciate the things ye lef’ behind, An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind. Home is always on our mind. This hunger can only be fulfilled in one way.
We can never escape or run away from God or His Son Jesus or the hunger and longing for Home. Psalm 139: 13-14 - For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
God made us, and when He created us, He tucked the longing for eternity in our souls. There is no surgery that can eliminate this implant. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11.
Our earthly homes are simply a taste of the wonder, mystery and joy of being at Home with the Lord to come.
Goin’ Home lyrics were written by one of Anton Dvorak’s students, William Arms Fisher who lived from 1861-1948. Anton Dvorak (1841-1904) was a prolific Czech Composer. Johann Brahms was impressed for Dvorak’s ability to compose. He was the first of fourteen children, and grew up with a strong Christian faith. He found beauty in the Bohemian folk songs. And later, he came to Boston and taught.
The lyrics of Goin’ Home are written to the Dvorak’s Largo Theme from The New World Symphony #9. The year was 1922.
The promise of John 14:1-4, the words of Jesus continue to bless me through the years. Recently, I shared these verses with my dear husband. Even in his confused mind, he smiled and thought of being home with our Lord. With Dementia, he went through a phase of desiring to ‘go home’. He tried over and over to walk out the doors. One day he walked down the driveway when I found him. I had to escort him back into the house.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
Being ‘at home’ with Jesus, begin when I invite Him into my heart. Jesus Christ makes his home in our hearts as we trust him. We grow in Christ, and it is then we realize the truth of how wide, how long, how high and how deep His love is for each of us.
In this Age of Doubt, the name of Jesus and His Power are often denied and ridiculed. I remember learning the verse – God is Love. Is there anything greater in this world? This verse becomes more precious to me as the years pass by. No matter how often we deny God with our actions, our thoughts or our words, God IS! His love comes with forgiveness. Nothing we do or say can erase Him, for God IS! And always will BE!
2 Corinthians 5:1-8 - For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation, which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord, For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
John 14:23-24 - Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
2 Timothy 1:12-13 - For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.