Not me. I was counting up and think I have lived in at least ten different places during my lifetime. It’s not uncommon. Family grow up and move away. Other people live in those places now. The church in Belfast where I was baptized as an infant was knocked down many years ago. In Agnes St. nowadays not one building remains that was there when I was a child.
I’m reminded of an old ‘long-playing’ vinyl record by Jim Reeves my Mum used to play-
‘This world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.’
Not that I’m complaining! Most of the places I’ve lived have been really nice. As the Bible puts it, ‘the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places’. (Psalm 16 v 6)
But I guess ‘home’ is more than just familiar surroundings and a few creature comforts, it’s about belonging and being secure among those you love. ‘Home’ can be anywhere when we know we are accepted, valued, forgiven, wanted.
Old Testament hero Moses was reared in the royal palace in Egypt but always knew he didn’t belong. He left to wander as a shepherd in Midian, then wandered again for a further forty years leading the rebellious Israelites to their ‘Promised Land’. Even then, he didn’t get to own property or build a house, but died before crossing the Jordan river.
Was he disappointed? I don’t think so. Reflecting on life in Psalm 90 he writes,
‘Lord, you have been our dwelling-place throughout all generations.’
His relationship with God had proved the greatest source of comfort and security through the changing circumstances of his life.
It’s a lesson worth learning.
Grateful as we are for our homes on Earth, however nice they are, we should recognize they are temporary.
We find our ultimate ‘homeplace’ only when we learn to trust in the grace and provision of the One Who is ‘from everlasting to everlasting’.
For then we shall ‘rest in the shadow of the Almighty’ and can look forward to dwelling ‘in the house of the Lord forever’.