Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:1-2 NIV).
Friend to Friend
As Bing Crosby crooned, “I’ll be home for Christmas,” on the radio, I scowled at the moving boxes cluttering my living room. Well, I won’t be! I thought with an ache in my chest. Our house had sold to buyers who were eager to settle in before the holidays. We faced weeks of living out of suitcases before a cross-country move to a sight-unseen rental house.
The wintry weather matched my chilly mood. I longed to hang our handmade stockings over the fireplace. I dreamed of my kids’ voices singing carols alongside our dear church family. We wanted to gather around our tree, now barren of lights and decorations as we prepared to leave it behind. I wondered how long it would be until I felt at home again—or if I ever would.
If we ever long for home, it’s during the Christmas season. We feel the yearning to bake and decorate, sing and celebrate, and cozy up with the ones we love. If life has taken us to lonely, unfamiliar places, the holidays can rub salt in the wound. We wonder where the joy of home can be found.
The Bible’s story of Jesus’ mother, Mary, tells how she too was uprooted from all she knew. Instead of arranging her wedding gifts to prepare a house for her groom, she packed up for an 80-mile trek to Bethlehem (Luke 2:4-5). Rather than the sweet joys of pregnancy “nesting”, she was cleaning the grime from a feeding trough to cradle her infant son. Before settling into the neighborhood in her girlhood hometown, she and Joseph fled outside the country’s borders to save her child’s life. For Mary, taking up the gift of Jesus meant setting down the blessings of home.
Yet Mary did not carry bitterness as her path took twists and turns. She loosened her grip on her hopes and plans so she could say, “I am the Lord’s servant” no matter what God asked of her (Luke 1:38). Her longing for home—for security, belonging, and love—was fully satisfied by the Savior God placed in her arms.
For each of us as God’s daughters, home is not a place but a Person. Psalm 91:1 says, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” God did not call you or me to form our identity around our address but in Him, “my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust” (v. 2).
If God is our home, we are sheltered from fear of the future. He stands like a protective wall when others threaten to harm us or slander our name. Instead of shame and guilt, we’re accepted, forgiven, and made new. When we feel alone and unseen, He promises, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). In our anxiety, God welcomes us into His haven of rest and peace. We’re given a place in the family of believers who will surround us forever.
At Christmas, we celebrate Jesus coming into this world to save us. We remember His willing sacrifice of home as he had “no place to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). Yet when we respond to Jesus in faith and love, we receive His beautiful promise:
“My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them” (John 14:23).
Looking back, I see how my difficult move across the country held God’s perfect plan to move me closer to Him. He met me as my closest friend. His Word refreshed my hope in heaven, our eternal dwelling place. My heart’s cry to feel wanted and secure was heard by the One who loves without limits. He proved that wherever I go, He is with me and is all I need.
Is your heart longing for home today? Does your situation in life feel like a huge mistake? Do you wonder if you’ve been forgotten or if you’ll ever belong? Make your home with Jesus as He welcomes you with open arms.
Dear Lord, in this season I struggle with loneliness. I feel insecure, wondering where I truly belong. Thank You for meeting me here as my loving Father. Teach me what it means to make my heart at home with You. Be my dwelling place as I find rest for my soul in Your love.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Name one season in your life when you felt the most accepted, secure, and at home. How might God be using today’s struggles as an invitation to receive His love and make your home with Him?
More from the Girlfriends
To help you draw closer to God with the one you love, Joanna and her husband Rob authored 101 Prayers for Mr. & Mrs. This heartfelt book of prayers will enable couples to commit their struggles, dreams, and relationship to the Lord with prayers and inspiring Scriptures.
Whether newlyweds or couples who have built a home together for decades, 101 Prayers for Mr. & Mrs. is a beautiful resource for any couple’s toolbox.
(As an Amazon Associate, Girlfriends in God earns A SMALL COMMISSION from qualifying purchases using this paid link.)
© 2021 by Joanna Teigen. All rights reserved.