March 17: Yearning for home
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Oh how sweet is the sight of home! During the summer of my 10th year of life, I journeyed west with my family for 28 days. From Virginia to Kansas I soaked up the scenery as miles passed beneath the car wheels. My nose wrinkled at the sulfur of Yellowstone and my neck craned back to capture Mount Rushmore. For those days, the attractions, amazement and beauty carried on.
However, at the U-turn signaling a return east, my mind pushed past the scenery and the hours of driving. Impatiently my heart yearned for home, even to the point of 10-year-old whining. With my persuasion bellowing beyond the opinions of my three siblings, my parents sped up the trip and I arrived to Virginia’s grassy rolling hills and sweet wind-whipped air one day early. Before pitching in with my “10-year-old help” of car unloading, I ran through my house greeting each room with a personalized “hello.” Outside I enveloped my dog in a hug of contagious laughter and found myself addressed with slobbery licks.
Multiply my 10-year-old joy a hundred fold, and we barely touch upon the thankfulness of the Israelites returning to Zion after years and years in exile. After living in homesickness, captivity and doubt, God fulfilled the promises to which the Israelites clung.
It is tough to keep a 10-year-old occupied while thousands of miles of asphalt pass by. In our family car there was bickering and laughing and games to keep our mind off of the time spent driving and waiting, even though the promised destination continued to creep closer. My mind needed my parents’ attention, assurance and reminders that the car truly was heading home. Thank goodness our God can provide the same answers – might we just ask for clues, and be bold enough to search for the answers?
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 126 (NRSV)
A Song of Ascents.
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
‘The Lord has done great things for them.’
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we rejoiced.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
carrying their sheaves.