Finding Home {Hope for the Broken}

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”― C S Lewis

I had a home once.  A place to go home to where people remembered the time I kicked holes in the wall while wearing tap shoes as toddler, and where the mother who wiped away my tears would welcome me with open arms.  This home, this sense of belonging somewhere where your roots are deep and you are known intimately, ceased to exist the day my father died.  I remember cleaning out my childhood home, feeling the intense grief that happens when you find yourself parent-less.  As I shoved my childhood Christmas tree in the stack of treasures that it was time to let go of, I struggled to come to terms with the fact that an era had ended.  Gone are the days that I will go home and feel like someone’s little girl again.  Gone are the days that I can run home to the mama who remembers my first loose tooth and remembers my first break-up.  Gone are the days that no matter how old I was, I could have that deep desire to belong to someone fulfilled.  The wonderful family that I married into treats me as their own, and wherever my husband and I are together is home.  The Lord’s provision graciously gave me a precious friend who grew from merely a Bible teacher to one who nurtures me with mama-like love, and when I confide in her, I feel as though I have just run home…but still…there is a deeper longing that doesn’t seem to find complete satisfaction by relationships anymore.  I’ve always had a house to live in and along with my husband, I have created a home where our children feel safe and secure, but after tasting the divine and perfect love of Christ, and experiencing the heart wrenching loss of my parents, specifically the father who chose to die, something happened to my soul.  The facade of perfect belonging to a home on this earth was shattered. The place we call home on this earth will someday pass away, just like the person we find home in will too. God may even call you away from what you call home….He called me.

Living somewhere new where I do not fit in has intensified my longing for back home. I battle homesickness everyday and what I used to think was only a longing for my childhood home or the home I just left, has been brought to light as a deep soul longing for so much more.  I am never satisfied aside from Him. I long for unfailing love that makes me feel secure and established at all times.  I love to be nurtured and loved and encouraged by one who knows me perfectly and intimately.  I long to fit in and be able to communicate in my heart language.  I long to be someone’s child.  In essence, I long for things that will never be found on this earth in the temporal – not even in the amazing husband who runs after Jesus and loves me selflessly. Every longing of my heart can only be satisfied by Jesus.  Jesus is my home.  Heaven is my future Home.  It was just last night that I was talking on the phone to a friend about the idea of  home and how I miss home and the natural desires of us all to just want to belong to someone. She told me that we must detach ourselves from here – from this earth – because He is our home.  Her words were joyful sorrow. Joyful in that my hope burned brightly as I envisioned the day of Christ’s return, yet sorrowful that there is still much enduring of loss in the here and now to be done.

I woke up this morning and hid away on the balcony that I have grown to love.  I sat at my desk and quieted my heart as I watched the birds swoop past and fly towards the orange-pink sunrise.  I opened both my Bible and my Bible study, and this is the first paragraph in the chapter titled “Dwelling in Him and He in Me,” I read…

“God wants to fill us with His loving, liberating presence.  He dispels the “negatives” in our lives with His love, joy, and peace.  He subdues the destructive influence of Satan and the flesh.  When He fills us, He liberates our wills to choose what we really want.  Christ dwelling in us and we in Him forms a living union deep inside us.  We can settle down in a deepening relationship and live our lives from that inner home.  Yet it’s not a matter of “going in and out” as we do in a home made of wood and stone.  We can coexist within the sanctuary of our spiritual life and out in the world, with its problems and perils.  It’s being in and out at the same time, for we have an inner fountain that springs up in us with fresh life and flows out in our relationships, duties, and trials.” ~Experiencing God’s Presence: Pursuing God with Your Whole Heart, Mind, and Soul, by: Warren and Ruth Myers

Following this paragraph, was a verse from the book of Isaiah…

“For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy:
“I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.” ~Isaiah 57:15

As I sat in solitary while the rest of my family was still waking up for the day, God – the one who dwells in me – tenderly pointed me to scripture and reminded me that He lives in me and makes his home in me.

my sweet little study spot on our balcony

“What contrasts, therefore, God is capable of! He dwells at the same time in the highest and in the lowliest. But that is no contradiction. For the “lowly spirit” is also just a choice and worthy dwelling, yea the choicest of all, since it is a living, personal habitation. But it is so choice for the reason that the humble man surrenders himself wholly, adds nothing from his own, will only accept God and let himself be illuminated by Him. Thus God supplies what is wanting in him. For He makes His dwelling in him precisely for the purpose of filling spirit and heart (i. e., mind and soul, thinking and willing), of the humble and contrite with a new, fresh divine life (comp. Gal. 2:20). It appears from “to revive the spirit” and “to revive the heart,” that the Prophet means such humble souls as are also bowed down deep with sorrow.” ~A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Isaiah (p. 622)

I read the scripture over and over and started to dig deeper.  This word – dwell…..what an understanding I have gained about what it means to dwell after studying this scripture. Dwell (7931. שָׁכַן šāḵan) is a verb that means to settle down; to dwell; to lie down; to rest; when people are the object of the verb, it means that they are resting in peace and security; to abide.  This mutual abiding – Him in me and me in Him – this describes home.  I belong to Him and He dwells in me. I am at home in Him and He makes His home in me. It’s beautiful, intimate, and incomparable to any other relationship we experience.

“God promises peace, healing, guidance, comfort, and an attitude of praise to those who depend on Him (vv. 18–19). While there is no peace for the wicked (vv. 20–21), a right relationship with God will bring inner, and even international, peace.” ~ The Teacher’s Commentary (p. 398)

“When God condescends to visit the contrite and humble spirit, the immediate effect is to comfort, console, revive. His presence is a well of life, springing up within the soul to everlasting life (John 4:14).” ~Isaiah Vol. II. The Pulpit Commentary (p. 358)

God lives with the contrite and lowly.  He revives the spirit of the lowly and the heart of the contrite.

CONTRITE: 1793. דַּכָּא dakkāʾ: An adjective meaning destruction, a crumbled substance, an object crushed into a powder, or pulverized dust. Thus, by extension, dakkāʾ can mean humble or contrite. God is the healer and rescuer of one who is crushed in spirit (Ps. 34:18[19]). He also lives with those whose spirits are contrite and humble (Isa. 57:15). It comes from the Hebrew verb dāḵāʾ (1792), meaning to crush or to beat to pieces. ~Baker, W., & Carpenter, E. E. (2003). The complete word study dictionary: Old Testament

REVIVE: 2421. חָיָה ḥāyāh: A verb meaning to be alive, to live, to keep alive. This verb is used numerous times in Scripture. It is used in the sense of flourishing (Deut. 8:1; 1 Sam. 10:24; Ps. 22:26[27]); or to convey that an object is safe (Gen. 12:13; Num. 14:38; Josh. 6:17). It connotes reviving in Ezekiel 37:5 and 1 Kings 17:22 or healing in Joshua 5:8 and 2 Kings 8:8. Genesis often uses the word when people are kept alive in danger (Gen. 6:19, 20; 19:19; 47:25; 50:20). Also, the word is used in the genealogies of Genesis (Gen. 5:3–30; 11:11–26). Psalm 119 employs this word to say that God’s Word preserves life (Ps. 119:25, 37, 40, 88). Many verses instruct hearers to obey a command (either God’s or a king’s) in order to live (Gen. 20:7; Prov. 4:4; Jer. 27:12). ~Baker, W., & Carpenter, E. E. (2003).The complete word study dictionary: Old Testament

What beautiful Truth there is to be discovered and believed and lived in Isaiah 57:15.  The Lord chooses to dwell in the broken.  Hear me dear brokenhearted one, you are loved and you are His. He loves a sorrowfully repentant heart that surrenders to His Lordship, and He loves when a child of His – a child who has been crushed into a crumbled substance – abides in Him and finds healing, guidance, comfort, revival, and ultimately home. When we spend time abiding in His Word, we are revived! When circumstances are so crushing that we are left hopeless and on the brink of physical or emotional death, we must remember where true Life is found, and that is Jesus! His Word sustains us and His Word breathes life into us! We all know what a broken home feels like.  It could have been the loss of parents, the loss of a child, the loss of a spouse, the divorce, or simply moving to a new place that has broken your dream of home.  No home ever found in Jesus will break.  No sin can separate you from His love, and the Living God will not die.

I have been crushed and many of my days are still lived in brokenness – brokenness over sin in my life and brokenness over circumstances that will all be made right someday.  As my heart begins to grasp just how amazing it is that the Father who is high and lifted up would choose me….someone so undeserving…to abide in and love and nurture and heal, I am left feeling deeply thankful.

My prayer is that as we abide in Him, we will know Who we belong to and we will find all satisfaction in the home that He provides.  With eyes fixed on Jesus, we can run the race He has set before us, faithfully enduring til the end – an end to all things temporal and the beginning of life everlasting in the Home where sorrow will cease to exist….

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed (1793. דַּכָּא dakkāʾ) in spirit.” ~Psalm 34:18

Hold fast to hope . Fix your gaze on Home . Healing is on its way.