Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Coming Home

Every Tuesday I find myself sitting in a music studio for an hour while my son has his piano lesson. Half of the hour his teacher devotes to written theory instruction and the remainder of the time is spent at the piano preparing for his practical exam. Although I could just drop him off and use the time to run errands, I have come to look forward to this hour each week. I write letters, read, prepare for Bible study and basically enjoy an uninterupted hour on my own.

Recently as I was listening to his teacher as she reinforced some Analysis and Counterpoint rules, I heard her give the following advice: "If at all possible, always come home." Now, she was referring to writing music and ending a composition in the tonic or 'home' key, but her direction spoke deeply to my heart.

God is calling us all to 'come home'. To come home to peace. To come home to rest. To come home to forgiveness. To come home to hope. To come home to acceptance. To come home to freedom. To come home to love. Being a wilderness wanderer at times myself, I'm so thankful that God always has the welcome mat out, the door open and the porchlight on.

Not only is there a welcome, but God Himself is waiting and watching for us. He doesn't scold us for leaving. He doesn't list all the "I told you so's". He doesn't gloat over the failure that could have prompted our return. He doesn't lay a guilt-trip on us or list our faults. He gives us a shoulder to cry on. His arms of love encircle us. He smiles and holds us tight. He knows where we've been, but at this moment, that doesn't matter. What thills His heart is where we are right now. We've made a decision to come home.

Do you need to come home today? He's looking with longing for you. If the journey seems too far, the distance too great, remember, the first step is always the hardest. Recall the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. It says in verse 20, "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him". This is the only time in the entire Word of God when the Lord is described as running. Let that grip your heart. Do you understand what makes God run? A child coming home.

God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is still running towards anyone who turns their heart toward home. It doesn't matter what forces your return. I heard once that it wasn't pangs of conscience that sent the prodigal son home, but pangs of hunger. The prodigal son didn't go home until his desperation was greater than his pride. God will use whatever it takes to bring someone back home, even if it is just to satisfy your own personal needs. Take that first step and you'll find you are home. Zephaniah 3:20 says, "At that time I will bring you home". Let God be your dwelling place today in whatever situation you are facing. Don't just call home....come home.


swile67 said...

Beautiful Joy! I had tears in my eyes! I am actually singing a song on Good Friday that is in keeping with your theme in this post!! Very cool! God Bless! Karyne

Melissa said...

I need to come home today Joy! How awesome and timely is your post for me. Just like swile67 said, I had tears too!

And I'm so glad you started posting your accountability on the side. Doesn't it just help you stay in line? I know it does for me. I'll be checking in on you!
And I hope you'll be checking in on me too.

Joy, you really bring me so much joy.
Much Love,

heather said...

Joy, after the counseling I have been through today, your post here, and your writing on Saturday so touched my heart. to know that God is giving me a shoulder to cry on, and holding me in His loving arms.... I think I am going to cry right here and now.

Powerful stuff. Powerful, because it's true. Contrary to most of the stuff I have been believing deep down.

Thank you so much for your words of ministry to a soul still torn in the search of truth and healing... bounced between what the head knows is true, and what the heart feels is true.
God bless you,

Yolanda said...

Joy, wow, that was awesome, don't just call home but come home.

He is absolutely the sweetest and best thing that ever happened to you and I!

Love to you!


Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

Hi Joy,
I feel kind of like "coming home" when I visit you. We haven't known each other very long but I consider you a very good friend! Your writing is so sweet and tender and reveals your heart. I do so hope we can get together eventually, but until then, at least keep in touch this way.

I haven't thought much about She Speaks since I signed up. I am scheduled to give a lecture on March 26 at my bible study. It will cover all of Romans 13. I have put off preparing for it and now I am getting a little panicked. I have given 2 lectures already this year but prepared far in advance. I can use all the prayers I can get if you think about it.

So glad you got to spend time with your family. My college girl is going to Miami with a bunch of friends (another reason for prayer) but we will all be here. I would LOVE to go skiing but it isn't in the cards this year.

Oh dear, this is way too long! I will come back soon or I may shoot you an email. Take care, stay warm and thanks for being my friend!


Shari said...

What a wonderful post. That is so true - "God will use whatever it takes to bring someone back home." I took my salvation for granted. After many years, I realized that I wanted to grow closer to Him. And He got my attention - through loneliness and difficult times. It caused me to draw closer to Him, because the other things in my life were failing me.

My latest blog post is about Evangelism ideas at Easter. I'm telling everyone about it, because I think that Easter and Christmas are awesome times of the year to spread the word about Jesus.

Lelia Chealey said...

This is a really neat post. I love how you took what the piano teacher said & let God use it to show us some things. Beautiful.
I'm so glad you'll be joining us with the Bible study. I just finished reading the book but saved the study for the blog. I'm so excited about what God has in store for us. Can't wait to read your input. Next week, there will be a button you'll be able to put on your blog if you want to let others know about it. The more, the merrier, so invite anyone you know. At Family Christian bookstores right now the book is only $5.00! Also, Lysa will be having something on her blog next week AND there will be a giveaway on mine. So...come back when you can. :)
Hope you have a great weekend!
Blessings & Hugs~

Renee Swope said...

Sweet Joy!

That is you and that is what God gave me this morning after reading your post and after coming home to rest in His arms and drink in His love, His peace, His perspective and grace. It's the safest, most secure place to be isn't it?!

I treasure your heart, your friendship and so appreciate your prayers and encouragement. I have read each little post you left on my blog and will go back to them again and again if my faith starts to waiver. But today I am remembering this promise He gave us before we made the offer on the new house - "the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, surely my lot is secure."

Thanks for sharing your house and moving story. It gives me hope and I just love knowing that someone else has been through something so similar.

Have a wonderful, joy-filled day. We have a showing this afternoon so I need to do a little cleaning and get a shower before we have to evacuate :-).


Anonymous said...

Hello, I am curious about what I just read & I tried to send you my questions but I guess this is what a blog is and I don't know how to do this. Hope I do it right this time and that this gets to you. Evie

Luanne said...

Oh yes--to be a desperate woman--desperate for Jesus. I came across your blog via Lysa's link list. Nice to meet you! God bless.