What comes to mind when you think about “home”? For some of us, we might think of the place we grew up— maybe the comfort of our parent’s living room or a grandparent’s house. Maybe you think of your home now. Some of us may think of a quiet place of refuge, while others may think of the pitter patter of little feet and the clatter of puppy dog paws. Maybe your home is more empty than you wish. Or maybe your home doesn’t feel like home at all. Whatever your thoughts are of “home,” it is bound to illicit some powerful emotions.

Home is so significant that we can trace its origins all the way back to the beginning of creation. God created a “home” for us in the Garden of Eden before He even created Adam and Eve, so I think it stands to reason that home is important to God. It is the place He created for us so that we could dwell in His presence. As much as I wonder what the Garden of Eden was like, I’m often reminded, it is the very place where everything fell apart— the infamous place where Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were banished forever.

Fast forward several thousand years later to John 14 and Jesus is preparing the disciples’ hearts for His departure. They have spent roughly three years together doing ministry. The disciples have given up everything to follow Jesus. They have left their families, their jobs, and their homes to be with Him. They have seen Him do miracle after miracle. They have listened for hours on end to Him proclaim that He is indeed the Messiah. And then He tells them he is leaving, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms.”

I’m sitting here trying to imagine what that might feel like, to hear Jesus say, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” After all the time they’ve spent together and suddenly, He says they can’t come with Him this time. Being with Jesus has been their home. But no need to worry. No need to be troubled.

We can likely identify with what the disciples felt in this moment: fear, worry, confusion, longing. Fear and worry about what the future will look like without Jesus’ physical presence, confusion about why Jesus must leave them, and a deep longing to go with Him.

So how does one live a life that doesn’t let their heart be troubled? I think the answer is in remembering that this earth is not our true home. It is remembering that the comfort of home is not always represented by a place so much as the people who are present there. My grandparent’s home was a place of solace for me growing up; it’s the place I often found the most comfort. But it wasn’t because there was anything significant about the house itself; rather, it was the presence of my grandparents that comforted my troubled heart. We can have hope amidst all our troubles because we know, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

Jesus reminds us here that while this earth is our home for the time being, He is going to return for us. We don’t have to let our hearts be troubled when we remember that Jesus is preparing His Father’s house for us. Think about how it feels when you show up somewhere and you know they have taken time to prepare a place for you. Maybe it’s something as simple as preparing a place for you at their table. Or maybe it’s a guest room that has been carefully crafted to make you feel like their home is your home. Maybe it’s something as simple as welcome gifts for you at your new job. Whatever it may be, when we know that someone has gone to great lengths to prepare a place for us, we feel loved and cared for. It makes us feel like they want us there and we belong.

Our hope lies in the reality that Jesus is preparing a place for us in heaven. We will one day be welcomed by our Savior with open arms, and while I may not know exactly what my room will look like, I know it will be better than anything I can possibly imagine. Heaven will one day be our home and what matters most in that is we will forever dwell in the presence of our loving Savior.

About the Author:

Whitney Swindle

Whitney serves on staff with Perimeter Church as the Ministry Associate for Kids Discipleship and Spiritual Development. She was previously on staff with Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) for ten years serving both at the University of Georgia and in Washington D.C. She is passionate about helping others grow in their faith and understand the unique plan God has for their life. Her husband, Seth, works for Filter of Hope where he helps bring clean water and the Gospel to impoverished places around the world. They have a daughter, McClain, and a son, Shep, and reside in Alpharetta, GA.