From now on, you will be a homeless fugitive on the earth, constantly wandering from place to place. Genesis 4:12 NLT
I was a restless wanderer. And although I’ve returned several times, it was never the same.
Home may be the place they have to take us when we return, but no one said it would be the same when we got there. I left home immediately after high school graduation. I couldn’t wait to put my feet under my own table and make my rules. Although I didn’t particularly care for my home of origin while there, I look back with fond memories now.
Several times since leaving, I’ve had to return. Once simply because I was lonesome. A relationship had ended. Another time because I was following God’s direction which would take me to college. I had a family and needed to square away some bills before we left for parts unknown. And a further time because I had finished college. We had nowhere to go until a church called me as pastor.
Each time I returned home, it was different than when I originally lived there. I was restless . . . ready to get out again. I wasn’t a child anymore. I didn’t need parents to tend to my needs—although they continued to try. As initially, I wanted a place of my own with my rules.
God informed the first sibling that he’d be a restless wanderer. In a moment of rage and jealousy, Cain killed his brother. Because of this action, he would have to wander . . . be a fugitive on the earth.
Just as going home always disappointed me, so living on earth will also. This world is not our home—at least not in its present form. Sin infected Cain’s life and it has the world as well. Sin has destroyed the original pristine beauty and harmony. Weeds grow, natural disasters brew, and animals and people clash. Rust eats, plastics crack, and thieves steal.
The only peace we can find during this restless journey is in our relationship with Christ. Here, we can see beyond what’s wrong and focus on what’s right. We’re forgiven. A better place awaits, both in heaven and on a freshly re-created earth where life will function as God originally designed.
How can you remember where your true home is when you’re tempted to wander?
Father, I thank You that no matter how far or long I roam, You still welcome me home.
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