A Sojourner, A Guest

O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather! ..I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.” Psalm 39:4-6,12

“But who am I, and what is my people? ..For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.” 1 Chronicles 29:14-15

Responsibilities I cherish keep me from settling too tightly in one place, and though I love being at my own address, and often my body and soul long for home, the Lord is teaching me my home is with Him. We are sojourners together, my Savior Who had “no place to lay His head” and I. We are temporary guests here on earth, with a heavenly inheritance and dwelling being prepared, and reserved, for us. (Luke 9:58; John 14:2-3; 1 Peter 1:3-5)

Dirt road to sea, Israel

 A sojourner takes in the world while not letting the world take him in. The sojourner does what he can to make everywhere in his passage a better place, while not letting it own him. He invests wisely where he lives and interacts, yet always with an eye for eternal returns. He, as a guest, might unpack for a time, but never takes ownership of this world, holding it loosely. He knows he is traveling through, and so relishes every moment as though he will not have it again. He delights in where he is, yet is always “looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” (Hebrews 11:10)

Is this my mindset, or am so I steeped in the here and now of this life that I have no eternal perspective? Do I live as though I’ll be here forever, hoarding to build security, fearing change, or worse, death? Where do I close myself to new opportunities in order to ‘stay safe,’ missing out on the Lord’s adventures to stretch my faith and make a difference? Yes, it’s important to be “all here,” present where God has me, serving His Body, loving those He has placed around me, but my roots are to go deepest, and my hopes are to be highest, with Him above. I am to be investing for eternity, not where moth and rust prevail. (Matthew 6:19-21)

How willing am I to release home’s familiar comforts for the deeper comfort of knowing Jesus, to get on the road again if the Lord bids me rise and go? What will it take for my selfish coddling to be subdued by a greater desire to sojourn as His agent on His mission? What objects, what loves, am I holding too tightly here on earth?

Lord, it is a privilege to sojourn here below alongside You. Please help me hold life’s treasures loosely, and keep a spring in my step, that I never forget that with home, the best is yet to come.

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