As a child, I regularly roamed the woods surrounding my house. It wasn’t uncommon for me to walk up to the front door with mud on my shirt, grass stains on my jeans, and dirt caked to the bottom of my shoes.
While I’m sure it wasn’t my mom’s desire that I always come home and create an avalanche of dirty laundry for her to do, she never turned me away.
Regardless of my filth, she always allowed me inside. Not once did I have to go to the laundromat downtown or take a shower somewhere else before I came inside. At home, I was always welcome.
Even though that was my experience as a child, that welcoming feeling doesn’t leave as you reach adulthood. As an adult, coming home becomes one of the only places you can truly relax.
I’m convinced that your home is the most relaxing place you can be… you’re free to be yourself and act like yourself.
At home, you don’t have to worry about someone judging you wrongly or scoffing at your appearance. You laugh about stuff you wouldn’t laugh about anywhere else and you wear stuff you wouldn’t wear anywhere else.
There’s a reason for the phrase, “there’s no place like home”.
I believe “there’s no place like home” because there’s no place that you can be more like yourself. In fact, the very reason you are welcome at your home is because of who you are. It’s your identity that makes you welcome, not anything you do. You can relax at home because you don’t have to earn your stay.
At home, you are a dad, a mom, a brother, a sister, or a spouse. Your identity is what makes you welcome. I don’t think many of us have a problem with this idea when we are thinking about in the manner I’ve described so far, but for some reason we struggle with it when we relate it to God. It’s hard for us to imagine that God is ready to welcome us regardless of our issues, shortcomings, and failures.
The good news is that our welcome never changes, because our welcome isn’t based on anything we do or don’t do. In Psalm 5:7, David explains the only reason we are welcome in God’s presence is because of God’s great love.
“But I, by your great love, can come into your house; in reverence I bow down toward your holy temple.”
Our identity welcomes us into His presence, not our works. You are a son or a daughter in God’s eyes and that will never change.
As a child of His house, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a false appearance. When you come home dirty and soiled by the mistakes you have made, He desires you that you walk inside messy, allowing His grace and mercy to clean you up.
It may be hard to believe, but God’s love is for you just as much in your stumbling as it is in your succeeding.
Your mistakes will try to convince you that you’re too dirty and messed up to approach God, but remember that the God who awaits your return is the same God who kneels in the dirt next to the adulterous woman… the same God who dines next to sinners… and the same God who gave us everything when we deserved nothing.
God isn’t looking for our perfection, He’s just looking for us to come home.