My Father’s House
Have I mentioned Lubbock, Texas before? Maybe a time or two. Or three…
Lubbock, Texas. A mere two hour drive from my current residence.
After teaching an early class a few weeks ago, I thought about how great it would be to spend some time with my family. I missed them. Around 7:00 am I decided on a whim to go for a couple days. A little over an hour later I had showered, packed a bag, and made a thermos full of coffee for the drive. I called my parents on the way to let them know I was coming. Needless to say we were all pretty excited.
Saturday morning my dad and I were up early for coffee as we always are when we get together (If you haven’t been able to tell, coffee tends to make an appearance at almost every event in my life.). The smell of the house, the warmth of the fire, and each of us in a rocking chair just talking, for hours… I love being home.
Sometimes I just need to be home. Sometimes I just need to be in my father’s house.
I cannot say the phrase “my father’s house” without thinking of the Newsboys’ song “Big House”. I also cannot say that phrase without thinking about Jesus in Luke 2. Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. While his parents were returning home, Jesus stayed behind without their knowledge. I can only imagine the panic that ensued when Joseph and Mary realized he was missing
Side note: How in the world do you lose the Son of God? Imagine trying to explain that one. I’m just sayin…
After three days, three days, they found him in the temple courts. Like all parents would, they questioned him as to why he stayed. Jesus’ response? Two questions: “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Jesus was fully God, but he was also fully human. Even at a young age he knew exactly where he needed to be. Many times I feel the same way about my earthly father (I could write pages about my dad and what a special relationship we have. But that is for another post). But do we have that same longing for our heavenly Father, to be in His house? My dad and I spend hours talking, which is part of the reason why we have a close relationship. And if I want a close relationship with my heavenly Father I must spend time with Him, talking, sharing, listening, and learning from Him.
I’m going to take a quick detour for just a moment. I have never struggled with seeing God as my heavenly Father because I have an amazing earthly dad. It’s easy for me to see the way God loves unconditionally because of the way my dad has always loved me. But not everyone has this. And if you struggle with a relationship with your father, for whatever reason, I pray you to find that fulfillment in God. If you can still cultivate a good relationship with him, keep trying. And if you cannot, I pray God puts godly men in your life. I would bet for many of you, God has already surrounded you with godly men, be it a grandfather, pastor, friend, or mentor. My prayer is that He gives you eyes to see where He has filled in the gaps without you even realizing it.
AND, let’s take one more detour so I can brag on my dad for a minute. If you have spent more than 5 seconds with him you can attest to this fact: he is an amazing man. My dad is the epitome of a godly man who is above reproach. Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” Yep. That’s my dad.
Okay, back on track. Being with God, in his house, with the church, is vital to our relationship with Him. How can you grow closer to someone you never talk to? How can you learn about someone when you are never with his body, the church? I’m not here to beat you over the head with a Bible and tell you that you are a terrible person if you don’t go to church. But my question to you would be, “Why not?” If Jesus, Jesus, who was fully God and fully human, needed to be in his Father’s house, how much more important is it for us?
Jesus’ question to his earthly parents resonates with me. I can relate to it in a physical sense, knowing how filled I am by being at home and spending time with my parents. As I grow deeper in my relationship with God I am experiencing more and more what it means in a spiritual sense. I have a need to be with God. I have a need to learn about Him, to hear from Him, and to just be still in His presence.
I cannot wait until the next time I get to be in my earthly father’s house. I cannot wait until I get to be in my Father’s house, with Him and His church. And I CANNOT WAIT until I get to be in His heavenly house. In my Father’s house are many rooms. Come and go with me.