Editorial: OBU student reflects on the meaning and importance of home

By Jessa Chadwick, Faith Editor

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As college students, we are away from home. Some of us may be farther away from home than others.

Recently one of my friends talked about how she needed to go home. She said she wanted to sleep in her old bed and feel the safety and comfort of being under her parent’s roof.

It was hard for me to listen to her because I am far away from my home in Colorado, and my parents are currently in-between houses.

It’s easy to think that I am alone or for me to become jealous and sad when my roommates and friends leave for the weekend to visit their parents who are only two hours away. (This, really, is very close – count your blessings if you are near to family).

Multiple times this jealousy and discomfort has caused me to start my quiet time crying and asking God to comfort me as I continue my life away from home, even without a home. It was during one of these quiet times that God showed me that He understands what it means to be homeless.

My Bible reading was in 2 Samuel 7:1-17. The Lord speaks through Na-than to tell David to build a temple for the Lord.

“’See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains. . .’ But in the same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying, ‘go and say to My servant David, ‘thus says the Lord, “are you the one who should build Me a house to dwell in? For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle.’” (NASB).

This is a very, very long time to go without a proper home. God did not have a physical home during the forty years that Israel wandered in the wilderness.

He had no home during the time of the judges, which was at least a couple hundred years. He had no home during Saul’s reign (which was forty-two years, give or take some) and part of David’s reign.

That’s approximately two hundred and eighty years. I’ve been away from home for three and a half years but God did not have a temple for a much longer time than me. He was a nomad, like me.

Even after talking about a physical home, God tells David of the spiritual home we will all have in heaven with and through His Son Jesus.

“When your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who will come forth from you, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13 NASB).

Just as God was without a physical home for a considerable amount of the Torah, so Jesus was without a home during the time of his ministry. As it turns out, Jesus points this out to a potential follower.

“Then a scribe came up and said to Him, ‘teacher, I will follow You wherever you go.’ Je-sus said to him, ‘the foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head,’” (Matthew 8:19-20 NASB).

Jesus doesn’t say this to trick the scribe into a somehow holier life without material wealth (of any amount, it seems).

His point is not that we should not follow Him, or that He does not want to us to follow Him. Rather, Jesus wants us to know what we are getting into. He wants us to know that we may live without a home; but with that knowledge, He asks us to trust Him.

This brings up the old song, “Big House” by Audio Adrenaline. It says, “Come and go with me, to my Father’s house. It’s a big, big house with lots and lots of room.”

This song serves as a reminder that we have a home right now in Jesus. We can come to Him when we need comfort and to feel protected.

The song also reminds us that we have our first real, wholesome home later when we enter into heaven.

I haven’t had a home since coming to college. But I have never gone one night or day without a roof over my head.

And I know without a doubt that God has put me in these circumstances not only to deepen my trust in Him, but to use my experiences to help others not feel alone.

So, as you wave goodbye to your roommate as she drives off for a homemade meal and free WiFi, remember to take your jealousy to God.

Ask Him to deepen your trust in Him. And ask Him to comfort you. Remember that He is your home and ultimately, nothing can compare to the home we will have in heaven with Him.

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