Yes. This self-proclaimed city girl is going camping. Not the kind with tents, although there will be shelter. Not the kind with S’mores, although there will be fire. Not the kind with boots, although there may be rough terrain.
No. There will be no wilderness excursions here…for today, I find myself camping out in the final chapters of the Book of Revelation. Why? Because it makes me feel safe. Quite frankly, this world does the exact opposite. But, I am not of this world. And I am more and more convinced I will never feel completely comfortable here.
Recently, I was at Uncle Phil’s house when some old friends of his stopped by during our visit. They are musicianaries who have lived and served for years in another country (can’t recall where), and who had just sold their home, and are now traveling about in the states waiting for their next assignment from God. Translation: they are currently homeless, staying in friends’ homes and hotels as they travel from place to place. Indefinitely.
We talked music, faith, and adventure. Being one who has a particular fondness, rather, a particular need for security, I marveled at the peace they possessed, in spite of not knowing exactly where they would lay their heads from one night to the next. The man reasoned, “Jesus is our Home.” And that statement resonated deeply within me.
Because I live there, too.
The other day I pondered thoughts about “home” from my Charles Swindoll flip calendar I keep above my kitchen sink…What is so magnetic about coming home? Home represents our point of identity, our primary realm of responsibility. Home gives life its roots, its sense of purpose and direction. Even with pressure, stress, and struggles, home is the anvil used of God to forge our character. We count on it and thereby develop security, stability, and consistency…we are invariably drawn to come back home not because of where it is but because of what it represents…
I thought of those for whom home has been, well, not so homey. Homes of neglect, turmoil, anxiety, and dysfunction. I felt gratitude for my home of origin, though not perfect or without plenty of opportunities for character building, it gave me a good foundation to grow on, and has continued to offer a sense of security and support throughout my adult years.
And then there’s Paris. The horror of it made me want to turn off the news, lock myself in my bedroom, and snuggle up close to my shihtzu, though most would deem a German shepherd or Rottweiler a better choice for protection. While her soft fur absorbed my tears, I eventually fell to slumber, only to wrestle awake several times that first night, praying deep utterances to the Lord for the families in depths of grief unthinkable.
Like many, I posted my punched-in-the-gut reaction on Facebook…I. am. so. sick. and. saddened. by. the. evil. in. this. world. “Me, too.” “Come, Lord Jesus.” “Amen.” “God is in control.” Even John 16:33…“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.” These, just a sampling of the responses.
And they say it’s coming here. Or has already arrived. If our leaders can’t (or won’t) prevent it, how can I? How do I protect myself? How should I prepare? If I even had a gun, will I be allowed to keep it? Or have the courage to use it? What if it’s no longer safe to travel? How will I earn a living? Words like anxiety, fear, and helplessness come to mind. Though on a more faith-filled day, I know my Help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth. My Help, my Hope, is secure.
Solemnly, I reach for my compass and forge ahead toward Camp Revelation. I’ve decided to pitch my tent there. Indefinitely.
…They/we overcame him (the accuser) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their/our testimony; they/we did not love their/our lives so much as to shrink from death (I hammer the first stake in)...they will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with Him will be His called, chosen, and faithful followers (I drive in a second stake)…there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True…with justice He judges and makes war…His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns (I strike another)…I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God…they had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands…they came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years (the hammer goes down again)…then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…and I heard a loud voice saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them…He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’ (I strike another and another, the sound of my hammer ringing against the iron, loud and clear)…
…He who was seated on the throne said, “I. am. making. everything. new!” (emphasis mine)
I speak the words out loud, again and again, driving the stake deep down into the holy ground of my heart and soul. Holy, because He has made His home with me. Holy, because He has invited me to dwell in Him. Holy, because Jesus is my Home. Because whether I live or die, by natural causes or forces of evil, Jesus will always be my Home.
May these words bring comfort to someone today. He gives an invitation for all to enter in.
With continued prayers and support for our friends abroad, I offer one more stake if I may, in the words of Christ Jesus Himself…‘Behold. I. am. coming. soon!’
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.
Forever facing True North…