O.K., I hope you’re ready for buck shot – I have had a few different recurrent themes on my heart recently and I think they came together.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “home” for a while. I was recently home on furlough and it was wonderful. The combination of spending time with people I love and getting to travel to new places, meet new people (and add to the afore mentioned list) is amazing! But when the e-mail came that said my visa had been issued and I would receive it is a couple of days the first thing I said is “I get to go home!” Maybe I’m fickle (though I don’t think so, I root for the Twins and Atletico Mineiros even when they are losing), more likely I’m blessed to have two places where my heart is at rest.

A second thought came with the passing of a precious brother. Antonio has been the caretaker of the retreat center here in Campo Mourao for more than forty years – and so much more! He was the driver for Pr John Abel during evangelism trips,  he has mentored many, many young people. Basically, everything he did, he did to the glory of God. Antonio had a heart attack and passed away at the age of 85. One of the verses shared at his funeral was Psalm 116:15 (ESV) “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. “ I’ve heard the verse many times before, but it has been rolling around in my mind – the death of Antonio, precious in the sight of the Lord.

Finally a little clip has been playing in my mind is of Brandy. He was my dog when I was growing up and he was a pretty smart little fur ball. He knew exactly what time my school bus arrived in the afternoon and five minutes ahead of time he took his position on the back of the sofa, nose aimed at the picture window so he could see the whole street. The moment I got off the bus he would freeze and when our eyes met, four houses down the block, I could see his little body start to quiver. Pure joy. What a precious thing it is to know that someone is waiting for you to arrive, that your arrival brings real joy to their heart.
And these three images finally came together.

As wonderful as our home is, it is an appetizer. God placed the desire for a place that we belong, a place where we “fit” because we have a better home waiting. And there is a reception waiting for us that is beyond what we can imagine. The joy of my little dog, over joyed that I was finally home is an appetizer. Imagine the joy of the Father, waiting for each of us to cross the finish line, the cloud of witnesses cheering and our hearts finally fully home.

Praise the Lord, when we are safely tucked in our homes, we know something even better is coming. And when it doesn’t seem like we will ever find a place where we really fit in (and sometimes it is easy to feel like that), hold on! The Father has more prepared for us than we could even imagine!