I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Meron Asnake (WITHIN Devotional Writer)
There is a vision board I created back in 2019 that still hangs in my 2021 bedroom. Right in the middle of it, there are nicely cut out words from magazine pages that read — Love is Family and HOME. This simple sentence catapults me back to childhood memories with my family back in Ethiopia. It forces me to reminisce on memories every time I fix my gaze on those words. So, I always stop and whisper a pray to the Lord, so I can visit home soon.
To be honest, home feels distant nowadays. I have begun to experience the effects of the separation that are caused by several years spent away.
I had hoped that distance will not get in the way of the emotional connections with my loved ones.
I had hoped phone calls will be enough to sustain my relationships.
I had hoped my inquiries about their lives will keep us going until my next visit. However, my visit has not come yet; it has been eight years and counting.
So, the inevitable began to happen. The intrigue of each other’s lives began to dwindle, and our exchanges became brief. We replaced our greeting to mundane responses of the “same old”, and “the nothing new.” We sometimes experience awkward pauses that echo the very ocean that separates the continents. I wonder if there will ever be a comeback from these moments. The truth of the matter is, though we said there was nothing new in each other’s lives, everything was new. Sadly, we have become foreigners to one another.
As a result, I question my citizenship in the hearts of my family. As an immigrant, this is a reality I am too familiar with in the physical realm. I am currently waiting for my work-visa to be selected as my work permit inches to expire this summer. In short, I am in a season of life, where I have more questions about my physical and spiritual home.
But by the grace of God and an impromptu dinner with a friend, my perspective is re-centered on the truth. After listening intently to my concerns, she unwaveringly addressed the issues of my heart. She said, “Meron, Jesus is Home.” It was a redirection I never saw coming on numerous detours I have made to get to my destination. I was awakened to the true location of my identity; my spiritual zip code will always triumph over my physical address. In refocusing my gaze on God, I will forever find home in and with Him as His daughter, and co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).
My desire to be fully known— cared for, seen, understood, supported, comforted, and accepted – is only found in Christ. Though our earthly relationships intend to fulfill some aspects of our needs; they will forever fall too short from the fullness that is found in Jesus. The home, I desperately seek is found in Him.
In sharing my story, my intentions for this devotional are to encourage and challenge you to reflect upon Jesus— And that is all. Sit with the reflection questions and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal areas that you found security outside of God. Remember that the Lord is not afraid of your questions neither is He surprised.
The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
Jeremiah 1: 5
1 Corinthians 8:3
Ephesians 1: 4-14
Questions to Reflect on: