Longing for Home

A devotional for Chapter 1 of Arise & Shine, written by Bettie Gilbert.

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. . . Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.’” Exodus 25:1-2,8-9

As I watch, Mr. Wren is busy with his springtime nest building. He’s been singing his heart out for the past week, and now he’s put himself to work with the proper carrying and placing of so many twigs inside the birdhouse he’s chosen.  He’s trying so hard to make his dwelling place perfect for his little Mrs. Wren.

Why does my heart fill with longing whenever I witness these nest-building forays?                                                                                                                

I believe there is within all of our hearts a longing planted from the very beginning of creation. God set His first people in a garden and called it their home, and then He walked with them there. Sometimes I wonder if Adam and God watched those first little wrens stacking their twigs and branches.

“Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.” Genesis 3:8

But Adam drifted into the very way of thinking where I have often found myself: I can master my own home, Lord. And he chose to walk away from the most beautiful dwelling place ever created. So began the years of wandering that each one of us since Eden has walked through. Into our hearts we took up the unholy way, the way apart from our Father’s holiness.

Even when God called out His children and rescued them from their harsh lives of slavery, He led them through the wilderness of wandering to meet with them. He still longed to dwell with His people.

“The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering.’” Exodus 3:7

After their rescue, when He gave such specific instructions for how to bring their offerings to build the first Tabernacle, that early dwelling place where God met with Moses, it was only a shadow of holy dwelling.  There was yet to come the perfect ONE who would choose to tabernacle among us.

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:12

The Word made flesh now daily brings the cleansing that our disobedience requires. Jesus has opened the way for us to see that the Kingdom of God is now living within us, for the Living Word is making His dwelling place inside the hearts of each one of us.

And my heart is broken over that thought. God made a way for those longings for HOME to be fulfilled. He asks for our heart, so that HE can meet us, cleansing, washing, and coming to dwell here, covering us with His own holiness.

What longings are stirred by the thought that God would long to dwell here with us?

Could we offer the broken pieces of our wandering hearts to Jesus, for Him to weave His dwelling place there? Could we invite Him to bind us together in love?

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the beauty that You created from the beginning of time. Thank You that You chose to dwell with man. Oh, most HOLY LORD, forgive us for wandering away and trying to make our homes apart from You. We long to be restored with You. Would you accept the offerings of our hearts here?

Thank You that You have met us in the wilderness of our own broken places, and You have called us back to Yourself. Thank You for the precious dwelling that we can have with You: this most intimate place in our own hearts.

Come Lord Jesus, and wash us clean, preparing our hearts for YOU to live among us.

In Your name, Lord Jesus, we pray,


Thanks to Hersh Chauhan @hersh_chauhan for making the profile photo for this post available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/9nOsbDqmU9E