I was reading aloud from the book Heidi recently to my kids, and we were so glad when little Heidi, who had been taken from her dear grandfather in the mountains to live in the faraway city, is finally allowed to come home again. All the homesick days now over, she walks up the mountain and cries with happiness to see the mountains glow in the late afternoon sun. And after the reunion with grandfather, she sleeps on the hay in her little loft, sleeps more soundly than in all the time she'd been away. Heidi is home again. As I was reading this part of the story, I choked up a bit, and it was as if God said to me, "That's you."
I have been in the dark places. I have felt that homesick longing for things to be like they once were. I have struggled to sense God's love for me in those moments. I have condemned myself for not being more victorious over my problems, for being more fear-full than faith-full. I have wondered if I would ever be happy again. Wondered if I would ever find a way out of the darkness.
And yet, by His miraculous means, God in His grace did restore me to hope and faith and happiness. He made me aware of His presence and love. He brought me home in my heart. He even showed me I'd always been home with Him through that whole dark journey. That He'd been holding me and loving on me and working things out for me all that lonely time. That I was completely and perfectly accepted by Him the whole time.
God's grace tells us we're home again. Christ has brought us back home for good. And though we may go through terrible struggles and darkness in this world, He will bring us to a place of experiencing love and hope again.
For those in the darkness, I wish to let you know I've prayed for you today. I have been there too. And I wish to tell you that you aren't forgotten. You aren't alone in your pain. Someone is there and is actively working on your behalf. You are understood and embraced. You are at home in His arms no matter what, and He WILL bring you to experience that safe sense of belonging and hope and joy again. That is what my heart tells me is true, for that is just the way my God is. His love doesn't fail us, ever.