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A Place to Stay

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4

My daughter’s future mother-in-law is one of the most hospitable people I know. After dinner at her house one evening, she enthusiastically invited me to stay over rather than make the 40 minute drive back home.

Now, most of us are pretty discerning when it comes to the prickly feel of false invitations. Her urging was sincere. In fact, I told her as much.

“Debbie, I could show up unannounced at your door—suitcase in hand—and you’d let me stay.”

She laughed, as did everyone else in the kitchen because they knew it was true.

My husband and I and our 4 kids have always enjoyed my parents' open invite to stay in the house where I grew up when we've visited my hometown Houston from North Carolina. But when Dad, a widower, passed away last spring, we agreed (one of us reluctantly) to sell the house. My place to stay belongs to another family and it's left me feeling ... displaced.

There are legit reasons why my lone star siblings and friends can’t always accommodate us, and it’s presumptuous to think anyone is sitting in caned rockers with their porch lights on, waiting for my request to bunk at their place.

But last Tuesday, my husband and I closed on a house in Texas. Yes and amen, we'll—once again—have a place to stay. More importantly, we have a place others can stay.

Why does any of it matter?

Because for Christians, having a place to stay mirrors what’s to come. No matter how much we get twitchy and tired of mundane routines, we all long for permanence. Desire for an unchanging, forever home is set in our hearts. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

In Mom's later months of dementia, she often went childlike and repeatedly said, “I want to go home.” The irony.

For those who know Jesus, he is our forever home. The one and only thing King David longed for was to dwell in the house of the Lord:

… that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,

to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

Every moment of the day, God welcomes us to stay in the house of his presence. It's a worthwhile discipline as we prepare for eternity.

Whether or not any of us are privileged to have a physical address—with or without a lovely guest room like Debbie's—we always have Jesus, our permanent place to stay.

Points to Ponder

  • How much do you value knowing you have a place to stay when you travel?

  • Does hospitality come easy to you? Why or why not?

  • When have you been blessed by the hospitality of others?

Thanks for reading!

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