As Brits who have lived in Australia and the USA, we know first-hand the huge difference there is between visiting a country on vacation and actually making a home there. Once the decision to go has been made and the visas are in place, then the worst part of the whole process starts - the packing and the goodbyes! The sorting of junk, the detailed cleaning of the house, the setting-up of new bank accounts and new schools: the list is endless!
If you survive this process, next comes the fun part! You set off with a passion to learn as much as you possibly can about the true identity and character of your new home. You want to know everything you can about this country so that you can establish roots and foundations for yourself and your family. It really is a wonderful experience. It’s different from the list of requirements needed for a vacation – where a 'Rough Guide' and directions to the beach will normally be enough.
When you’re uprooting your whole life you need more than that. You strive to build bonds and connections with your new home (and its people), and when you do, the bonds remain forever. Without even knowing how or when, it changes you as a person.
As Christians we have already obtained our visa, but we still have to make a choice. Are we going to live permanently in His shelter and move house, or are we simply going to visit His shelter on vacation, as a refuge during the struggles of life? We all love the sound of ‘resting in the shadow of the Almighty’ away from our insecurities, fears and anxieties. But are we willing to do the first part - to decide to ‘dwell (or live) in His shelter’?
If that rest is what we long for so much, then let’s sort through our lives, leaving no corner hidden, and bring everything to Him. Let's make relationship with Jesus our permanent residence. If we do this, we will begin a wonderful journey of discovery and true relationship that no tourist can experience, and we will get to know aspects of our Saviour that no temporary traveller would ever discover!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I've been guilty of living as a tourist, visiting Your Shelter on vacation, rather than living as a resident child. Lord, I don't want a relationship like that with You any longer. I long to know You intimately and in the way that You intended - to begin a wonderful journey of discovery with You, so that I can finally find the true rest that You offer for my heart. In Jesus' name, Amen.
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