"There's no place like home..."

“There’s no place like home…”

Judy Garland’s timeless 1939 line in The Wizard of Oz will forever stand as a reminder to all of the comforts and familiarity of home.

There’s a certain sense of safety when you cross over that threshold.

The smells, the sounds, that scuff on the wall from when you’re dad was attempting to move that (insert appropriate piece of home furniture) all by himself...

We like being home. We like knowing what lies behind each door. We like the comfort.

And now, we’re home again…

We’re back from daily, intentional ministry in Nicaragua. We’re back from knowing that each and every day is going to be full of telling those around us of the love and life that is in Jesus Christ. We’re back from 80-degree weather. And, most notably, we’re back from rice and beans at every meal.

God worked, and we felt so blessed to get to be a part of what He’s doing all over the world. How He can use crappy, messed up people like us is such a testament to how wonderful and amazing He truly is. How He orchestrated everything from the team that we were blessed with to the opportunities that we were given to the friends that we made... It was all from Him.

However, if there’s one thing that many of us know from past experience, it’s that we quickly forget. We quickly forget the wonders of Gods love. We’re so prone to wander away from Jesus, chasing after every novel thing and idea. Spiritually, it’s safe to say that we all have ADD. We have so much trouble staying focused on the one thing in this universe that really matters.

It’s easy to fall back into the luxuries and ease of home. At home, we have to plan our own days and seek out our own opportunities to reach out to others. We have to be more bold and intentional here than almost anywhere else. If it isn’t a constant thought, a constant prayer, we get lured away by any and every little, insignificant thing.

I remember that the one of the most resounding prayers each evening in Nicaragua was that God would continue to break our hearts for what breaks His and that we would continually seek His will. We want so badly to see Him work in mighty ways in our life.

We prayed that we would come back home different… that we would come back UNCOMFORTABLE!!

It’s weird to really pray that and mean it… or at least think that you mean it… But God has truly begun to transform our hearts here at Switchboard Missions. As we learn to cease being rebellious, He’s begun to transform our hearts. Slowly but surely, we’re learning to submit to Him, to follow where He leads, to humble ourselves before both Him and others.

Needless to say, we are without a doubt testing God’s patience, but we’re trying.

We, as humans, don’t like change. We’ve got a plan, and we’re trying to stick to it.

But, what happens when the rug gets pulled out from under us?  What’s going to happen now that God is truly answering those prayers? What’s going to happen when we decide to stop running? When God really does finally get a hold of us? When He really does change our hearts? What does it look like for our hearts to really break for what breaks His?

It’s heavy, weighty stuff. It feels so beyond us, and that’s probably because it is…

We don’t get it… Second Corinthians 2 is clear about that… But that’s where the Holy Spirit comes in…

God gives us his Spirit so that we may have the faith to believe, the faith to follow, the faith to let Him change our hearts.

Because of the work that Jesus did for us on the cross, we have hope. We have hope that we can be different, not different because of what we do, but different because of what He’s already done.

So, while there truly is “no place like home,” we must also remember that, “Home is where the heart is.”

When our hearts seek Jesus, we’re home… regardless of our surroundings…

The comfort of a home is not in bricks and mortar but in knowing that we’re already accepted before we even walk through the door… in knowing that inside, we’re safe from whatever the world may throw our way… in knowing that HE, the creator of the universe, loves us all intimately in our own unique ways.

We have a heavenly home, and there are many rooms in His house. He’s waiting… waiting for us all to come home…

God, the Perfect Father, is in the business of bringing people home. He wants to free us from the bondage of this world so that we can see what’s waiting for us in eternity.

We’ve been rescued from ourselves. We’ve tasted and seen His goodness, His grace and the fulfillment that only He can bring, and now, He’s commissioned us as Christians to let other people know. He’s given us a handful of invitations and asked us to pass them along to whomever we may meet. He wants them all to come.

The invite… His…

The message… His…

The generosity… His…

The house… His…

The party… His…

It’s all His. We just know how awesome it feels to have our own invitations, and He’s allowed us the honor of handing out a few envelopes to others.

Sometimes, it’s awkward… Sometimes, it’s hard... And sometimes, we’re just convinced that we’ve got better things to do than to walk around handing out these goofy invitations.

If we would only realize how badly people need to be invited, or, better yet, if we would only remember how badly we needed to be invited, then maybe we could put aside all of the stupid things that get in the way.

After all, He invited us so that we would invite others, so that we would take His message of love and grace into a broken world. (John 17:15-18)

So, really, I guess the question is, “Whose envelope has God handed you?”

Who has He called you to invite… TODAY?!