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We are a family of fifteen: eight already with Jesus and seven in desperate need of Him. This is the story God is writing in our lives. Proverbs 16:9

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The best rest...

When I first moved out of my parent's house and went away to college, I was so excited! Anyone who knew me at that time knew I was terribly independent and ready to be on my own. There was something I missed after I left home and I remember identifying it quickly. I had a wonderful home to live in during college, but there was something about sleep in the bed I grew up in that made my rest the sweetest I have ever known. Now I am aware that children grow up in homes where family life is extremely volatile to say the least, but by God's grace, I felt safe at home.

Since I have been married, responsibility has changed me tremendously. There is a great difference between being a kid reliant on parents and being the parent... making sure the doors are locked at night, there are functioning smoke and CO2 detectors in the rooms, etc. I watch the boys though, as they barrel carefree through a day. When they play, they play hard. When they rest, they rest so peacefully. "Home" itself for us has changed over and over, as my past posts have stated. The uncertainties of where home will be in the future bring curiosity and much prayerful consideration. Even when I visit my parents home now, it is not the home of my youth and even though they are welcoming, I am a guest.

I am fairly certain that Isaac Watts may have shared the same sentiment when he wrote the final lines of "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need". This is a song I sang with my high school choir and one that has stuck. I have sung it to Andrew and Elijah many times. Its words inspired by Psalm 23 have always been moving, but here recently the last stanza has encouraged me toward acceptance of a deeper truth. I may have eluded to this before, but I am finding more and more that the Lord wants me to long for my eternal home more than the temporary, unsatisfying rest this world brings. Having grown up in safety, this is something I am having to be taught. The other portions of the song are also beautiful, giving me hope until I am like a "child at home" in my Father's house. I pray it is encouraging to you as well.

My Shepherd will supply my need:
Jehovah is His Name;
In pastures fresh He makes me feed,
Beside the living stream.
He brings my wandering spirit back
When I forsake His ways,
And leads me, for His mercy’s sake,
In paths of truth and grace.
When I walk through the shades of death
Thy presence is my stay;
One word of Thy supporting breath
Drives all my fears away.
Thy hand, in sight of all my foes,
Doth still my table spread;
My cup with blessings overflows,
Thine oil anoints my head.
The sure provisions of my God
Attend me all my days;
O may Thy house be my abode,
And all my work be praise.
There would I find a settled rest,
While others go and come;
No more a stranger, nor a guest,
But like a child at home.