We are finally back in Haiti after our trip to the States for my surgery. What a whirlwind of a trip it was. Though we were gone for 6 weeks, we had so much going on - particularly me - in the way of doctor's appointments, physical therapy, and such, that the time went quickly. We spent time quite a bit of time with family, staying with sisters and parents. There were a few occasions we would update some churches, but for the most part, we were with family. Interestingly enough, before we left, we longed so much to be with family. Then, when we were in the US, we longed to be in Haiti again. We came to realize that we were redefining what "home" means for us. Though we will always feel "at home" with our family and love and appreciate all that they do for us when we're in the US, that has ceased to actually "be home."
Sure, some people would say, you'd miss your personal space, your house, your normal routine. That definitely is true to an extent. But the reality is that the concept of home isn't revolving around a particular house or belongings - or a schedule, either. What's more is that the concept of home isn't revolving around comfort or even rest. Home for us now is completely based on where God has called us to be. Through the last few weeks, I've remembered and meditated on a message I heard at a D6 conference in Dallas some years back. David Platt spoke on the cost of discipleship and the family's role in that. At the end of Luke 9, some people are asking Jesus if they can follow him. Jesus answers that "Foxes have holes, birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." The cost of discipleship means giving up our comfort-zone and resting in His comfort. To another who wanted to go and bury his father first, Jesus tells, "Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God." We can always make up excuses as to why we can't follow him just yet. There's always something else we think we should do. The reality is that the kingdom of God is infinitely more valuable and important than anything or anyone else - including family. This is driven home with the following disciple who asks to say goodbye to his family first. Jesus says, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." Parents would do well to raise children who are attentive to the voice of God and are willing to follow, no matter where He leads - even if it's away from "home."
With that said, this is home because God said it is. As utterly simple as that sounds, it rings true. We, as a family, have made a commitment to surrender ourselves to go wherever God wants to us to go and do whatever He wants from us. We have surrendered to His will. And in that light, home is simply the peace of knowing we're in the center of His will. One of my biggest prayers for my children (and for me) is that if they learn nothing else from my example, they learn this principle - that the Kingdom of God is infinitely more important than anything else. It's not always (dare I say, rarely) comfortable, it's not always restful, nor always fun. But it's always meaningful and fulfilling - and it always honors the One who has called us to it. And it's there in the center of His will that we're most effective for that Kingdom!