Earlier this week I was frantically trying to prepare for my daughter’s fourth birthday party. We had invited her classmates, most of whom I knew only through nodding hello at school. I found myself obsessing over the presence of dust on my Venetian blinds and bemoaning the dust bunnies that continued to gather for little gossip sessions in the corners of the living room!
Since the party would include the parents of the children as well, I found myself trying to prepare every place that the parents might go – my husband steam cleaned the sofas and I got on hands and knees to clean the grout in the tiles in the bathroom.
At some point I realized that I was exhausted and the joy of the party – which is always a little difficult to find when you consider you’re about to be invaded by a horde of preschoolers! — was not obvious in my stressed out preparations. It led me to think about the importance of my home and how homes figured into Jesus’ ministry.
Jesus spent the vast majority of his ministry walking from town to town preaching and influencing people. From what we can gather, he didn’t have a regular place to call “home,” though he obviously had safe places to stay like Mary and Martha’s home. In addition, Jesus didn’t travel solo – there were the disciples and many other people who willingly gave up their comfort zones to wander like dusty nomads across the roads of Israel.
As a woman, thinking about living in my car and travelling non-stop is not something that gives me joy. It makes me break out in hives! I place so much value on the safety and security of my home’s four walls (and the importance of appropriate paint colors!). But the people who travelled with Jesus did not. They found something better than a place to call their own.
They found Jesus. He became their home.
Living in the presence of Jesus is a wonderful thing. It’s also something that we can train ourselves to do on a daily basis! Within the scope of his love and encouragement we can find a peace and security that has nothing to do with where the money for the mortgage payment is coming from, what other people will think of us if they know that we have a pile of laundry sky-high waiting to be folded, or our frustration over the dust bunnies rolling in sassy disrespect from under the sofa!
In Jesus we can live with unconditional love, His genuine interest in seeing us live up to our potential, and the security that comes from a home that can never be taken away and but constantly modified to add living space!
It’s worth it! And it doesn’t require a toothbrush to clean the grout!