As for man, his days are like grass…and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. Psalm 103:15-16
Not long ago my wife and I went back to the community we had lived in for 16 years. My wife said, “I miss this place. The best years of our lives were lived right here.”
We were homesick.
When you go back to where you once lived the place looks smaller. Shopping centers have taken over an empty lot where sandlot baseball games were once played. Drive-in movie theaters are now a new housing addition. Things change. Life moves on without you and you wonder if the place that was so formative even remembers you lived the best years of your life there. We wonder if the place remembers us no more.
Do you remember the movie It’s A Wonderful Life? George Bailey is given a vision of what Bedford Falls would be like if it remembered him no more. His mother has no idea who He is. His friends don’t know him. His brother died because he wasn’t there to save him. His wife is terrorized by him because he insists she remember him but she thinks he is a stalker. He feels like he is in a place worse than hell.
In every other place you try to fit in, but home is the place that fits you. The chair is where you want it. Everything is where it ought to be. The smells; the fireplace is the way you want it; the spice rack is in its right place. It fits you.
This helps explain why so many sit in the same place at church every week. It might explain why many adopted children feel an unbelievable need to find their birth parents. Why does it leave us unsettled to not have a place to either be from or to call home? Why is place so important? We fear we will be forgotten. We ache for home.
Because just like hunger presupposes the existence of food and thirst presupposes the existence of water, restlessness presupposes the existence of “place” or home. That is what is behind a lot of the obsession for a material mansion. We push and we overextend ourselves all in an attempt to build an ultimate “place.”
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. John 14:2
The father’s love is the home—the place. It’s the only place where the fire never goes out; where the light is always on. Where there is always a soft bed. We long for eternal kith and kin.
We are homesick for the Father-love of God.
George Bailey eventually came out of his nightmare of living in a world with no place…but that was a fanciful story made up by Hollywood. But the scriptures tell us that Jesus visited His hometown and he wasn’t welcome there. Jesus became placeless—homeless—why?
Did you know that every time Jesus speaks to God in the Bible He addresses Him as “Father” except once—on the cross where He said, Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt 27:46)
What was happening there?
“…His place knew Him no more…”
The door was closed and locked. No fire in the fireplace. No soft bed. No smell of warm bread from the kitchen. The ultimate nightmare happened to him. All of the cosmic Universe behaved, for a moment in time, as if Jesus had never been born. The sky grew dark at noontime and the earth trembled.
He was cast away. Out of the family, out of the home. He felt completely alone. It was like going to hell forever and ever. He lost His spirit of sonship—so we could have it. He lost His place—so we would have a place. For Him the door was closed to heaven—so it would be opened to us.
If you know deep down—down where the knobs are—that the God of the universe loves you so much to allow that to happen to His Son—are you going to let a little human rejection mar and scar you?
If you struggle with rejection, criticism, and self-esteem, then it just demonstrates a very real issue: You suffer from Spiritual Attention Deficit Disorder. You have forgotten the Father-Love of God.
Some people are so mad at their parents because they didn’t get this kind of love. Our parents can’t give us what we are looking for…only God can do that. For some, this is the deepest healing we need—receiving the Father-love of God.
Listen to the words from a crusty old pastor tell you what your Heavenly Father wants you to know…
“Child, come home.”