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Safe at Home! Living in the love of our Heavenly Father

“Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23 ESV

“ A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.” Mark 4:37-39 NIV

We have a small baseball field on our church property. I call it the Pee Wee field as it accommodates the kids who are beginning to learn the game. Our town, seeing the need for more fields to be open for games and practices, helped us get the field in top shape. This time of year, when the grass is green and freshly mowed, the red dirt of the field is inviting to anyone who has ever played the sport.  The crisp lines of the mower give it the pristine look that shouts, “Play Ball”. I love this time of year. Green grass and dirt. Glimmering white bases and home plate where it all starts and ends.


This devotion springs from a sermon series called “Safe at Home”. When God gave me this series, I had the picture of a baseball field with each player in their place. As I was meditating on this, God asked me what I saw about home plate. I noticed that the attention from the players and the fans in the stands were all focusing on one place. Home!


In baseball, home is where it matters. You start and finish there. The team who gets to home the most times after rounding the bases wins. The pitcher throws the ball to home every play, unless they are trying to pick off a runner. The catcher sits behind home and has the view of the entire field. Home plate is where you want to make a difference in the game. All of my kids when they played ball for school and summer ball had their stint as a catcher. As a parent watching the game, I was involved in every pitch. Especially if there was a runner on base. My kids had a mission. Protect home plate. If there was a runner on base, the mission… don’t let them score. If there was a wild pitch, they were to do what they could to not let the ball pass. Home plate is at the heart of the game of baseball.


Now let’s use this baseball analogy and apply it to our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Home is at the heart of our relationship with Him. It is our focus, our mission, and when we are abiding in Him, as believers we are at home. But it is also the place that our enemy would like to come against. Think about it. How many people grow up with a faulty view of the Heavenly Father because their experience at home was not great. How many broken fathers, absent fathers, or simply unaware fathers raised up generations who really do not need a Heavenly Father if it is more of the same. Home certainly to many was not a place to call safe. If it was like my life in my teens, home was too ambiguous to ever feel like you were safe. The rules were constantly changing, the atmosphere was toxic, and my dad doing probably the best he could, created a performance culture. If I was a baseball player in that scenario, I would be fine hitting singles, doubles, triples and an occasional walk. A strike out or fly out would be ok too. Just don’t make me go home. It kind of defeats the purpose of the game and when you think about it, life with God too. God wants us home with Him, not just running the bases.


You have probably heard it said, “Home is where the heart is.” What does that mean? It means that home is not a physical address, but rather the place or the relationships where you feel most loved, valued and at peace. This is what our Heavenly Father wants us to experience with Him. I remember, playing baseball in high school, the feeling I had when I got a hit that scored a run across the home plate or rounding third with a wide turn blazing toward home to score the winning run in the bottom of the last inning. It felt good. It felt right. I helped the team win. That is what God wants for us with Him. He wants us at home and when we are there, we feel good, it feels right, and we win.


One day we will be safe at home, in heaven with our Father. Oh, what a day, an eternity that will be. But now, as the Bible says we are in this world but not of it, we can be safe at home in His presence. This is what the enemy battles. If he can keep us from living in the love of God, experiencing His unconditional love and acceptance, then the Devil can keep us running for our lives, never making it to home. Believe me, I know this well. Running to prove myself to others. Running to make my dad and others proud of me. Running to make a place in this world where people think you are ok. I don’t know about you, but running, worrying, striving does not paint the picture of home, or maybe it does and that is the problem.


God says, that He desires to make His home in our hearts. Home is where He dwells. And where He dwells there is peace, love, harmony and yes safety. Think about Jesus in the boat in the middle of the storm that freaked the disciples out. They thought they were dying. Jesus was taking a good nap. How could He do this? He was at home with the Father. He was at peace knowing who He was and who He was with… the Father. Knowing this, brought peace in the storm. Knowing this, He felt safe amid the winds and waves. The disciples were running the bases, Jesus was safe at home. You can be too.


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