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Prayer Blog

January 24, 2023 Prayer Blog

Posted by Carol Gilbert on

Home at Last

Jim Hatcher, our missionary in Vienna, Austria, preached on Hebrews 11:8-10,13-16.

Jim observed that everyone is longing for Heimat, for home, the place you belong. God has planted that Sehnsucht, or longing, in every human heart. A terrible childhood home doesn’t negate the yearning; if anything, it intensifies it. The topic of home is threaded through the pages of the Bible. Even the world understands the longing for home; it is a common theme in literature and movies. That yearning is God’s gift, Jim said, given with the purpose of sending us on a search for our true home. Listening to Jim, it struck me that home could be a helpful point of entry to the gospel with an unbelieving friend. Instead of leading with, “You’re a sinner, alienated from God,” maybe a conversation about home, what it means, where it might be found, would be a useful starting point. Ask the Lord to give you an opportunity this week to begin a conversation about home with someone. Where might God take it?

The writer of Hebrews describes Abraham as a man who obeyed God’s call to leave what was, humanly speaking, his homeland of Ur to go to a land promised to him by God. But he didn’t see the promise fulfilled; he lived in tents, like a stranger in a foreign country. The apostle Peter describes Christ-followers as a holy nation, as God’s people, but also as sojourners and exiles. Jim noted that Jesus knows what it’s like to live in that in-between place – in a broken world, longing for home. And how much worse for him than for us! It takes something like a cancer diagnosis, betrayal by a spouse, children maimed in war, to register as brokenness for us. But “smaller” things that are like water off a duck’s back to us – an unkind word, a dead rabbit by the side of the road, a small deceit – must have wounded Jesus’ heart. Jesus – acutely aware of every fracture in our world, intensely longing for the perfect home he had left. Thank him for bearing that burden because of his great love for you.

Jim reminded us that God’s promises, though not yet completely fulfilled, are a great comfort to us here and now. Reread Revelation 21:1-5 and reflect on the promises of a new heaven and a new earth, God dwelling with men, tears wiped away, no more death or mourning or pain. Come, Lord Jesus! Encourage someone with these promises this week.

Calvary Family

I hope you got to meet Jim and Lynette Hatcher on Sunday. Take some time to thank God for who they are as people and for the kingdom work they have been doing so faithfully over decades. Pray that their time with us will be an encouragement to them.

About a dozen young parents will be participating next weekend in the Building Blocks of Parenting conference with Dave and Carrie Tebay. Pray they will absorb biblical principles that apply to parenting and learn how to apply them consistently in their homes. Lift up all of our young parents as they do the most important job of their lives.

Ask the Lord to raise up more foster families in our county, especially people with a heart for teenagers. As a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for a 14-year-old girl in foster care, I am well aware that the need is great. “Addy” (not her real name) no longer qualifies for the therapeutic group home she lives in now. (By the way, you could drive by a group home and never know it. Addy’s group home is a normal house in a neighborhood just two miles from church.) At any time, the group home may need Addy’s bed for a girl with more serious mental health needs, but county social services has no foster family, not one, for Addy.

In Christ,
Carol Gilbert