Sick and confused, the elderly man could not understand the restraints and restrictions imposed on him. He wanted to go home. His plaintive cry broke the otherwise hushed hospital atmosphere at frequent intervals.
“No! You can’t go home,” the nurse said with finality, a note of impatient sharpness in her voice.
“Yes, I can!” His voice rang out defiantly. How dare anyone deprive him of his dream, of his desire to go home?
As I waited in the hallway to speak with one of the other nurses, my heart went out to both this man I’d never seen and the nurse assigned to his care. I’d overheard her repeatedly and patiently explaining that he’d broken his leg and he couldn’t go home until it sufficiently healed.
The fact that his condition was obviously complicated by Alzheimer’s disease or senile dementia made my heart ache for him all the more. How urgently he needed that primal place of comfort and familiarity—home.
All of us are encumbered with the restraints and suffering of living in a sinful world. We, too, are sometimes broken, lost, or confused. It’s then we often find “someone” standing over us trying to hold us down, insisting that we cannot go Home. Unlike the nurse, however, Satan carries no authority. We need not be discouraged; we have every right to hold fast to our desire for our heavenly homeland. No one can take our hope from us. It is our birthright in the Lord.
Satan may insist that we are too broken, too sinful, too sick. But God opens his arms wide and says, “Come to me, all you who are struggling and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
God sent his Son to stand beside us, to share and bear our pain, and to show us the way Home. “Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in me. In my Father’s house are many places to live. If there weren’t I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you. Since I am going and preparing a place for you, I will return to take you with me; so that where I am, you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
Home with our Maker—home with the ones who love us most of all—home where we belong.
If ever you hear the tempter whispering or shouting to your heart, saying that you are too broken or too sinful; trying to convince you that God does not want you and that you are not worthy; insinuating and insisting that you cannot go home with Jesus—call instantly upon Jesus’ name and rally the faith within you. Answer firmly and loudly as did that dear old man: “Yes, I can! I can go home.” Know that it is true!