And anyone who gives up his home, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, or property, to follow me, shall receive a hundred times as much in return, and shall have eternal life.
—Matthew 19:29, TLB
SUMMER IS A SEASON OF TRAVEL, of hitting the road to visit new places or return to favorite destinations, all in search of fun, adventure, or downtime. Spurred on by ads painting idyllic days on beaches, in the mountains, or at amusement parks, people have been especially eager for the summer of 2022. It has been the summer of finally being free to roam about after being cooped up during the summers of 2020 and 2021 because of the far-reaching influence of COVID.
But just as vacations can’t really be vacations without encountering roadblocks, construction, or detours, multitudes of excited travelers quickly ran into the summer of 2022’s own unique array of cone zones. Skyrocketing prices for gasoline, food, hotels and vacation rentals, and airfare, in combination with spiking labor shortages and flight cancellations led one cable network political analyst to dourly opine “you may want to rethink your summer travel plans.”
As enticing, exhilarating—and annoying—as travel can be, as Dorothy of Kansas found out in the midst of all her good-and-bad adventures in the Land of Oz, there’s no place like home. For many of our nation’s military men and women, and those with families, the summer travel season is often an every-other-summer return to PCS World with its many unanticipated twists and turns of moving from one duty station to another.
However, unlike Dorothy, and Toto too, there’s really no home they return to. Home may be where they were born, especially if their parents or grandparents still live there. Or, as it is for numerous OCFers who regard it as so, “home” can be the welcoming familiarity of an OCF conference center. But as a co-worker thoughtfully observed when asked about home, “is the question—especially for those of us who are Christians—where is home, or what is home?”
“There is a homelessness that is distinctly Christian…” writes Jon Bloom in Live Homeless, Homesick, and Free. “No matter where we are, no matter what we do, we’re always foreigners and feel somewhat out of place.”
Seen especially within military circles, a desire eventually arises in all of us to move on for that something or somewhere to satisfy a longing we can’t quite explain. “Embracing your homelessness as a disciple is to embrace freedom,” writes Bloom. “Jesus has gone ahead of you to prepare a home for you (John 14:2). He’s made this amazing and freeing promise to you if you’re willing to live ‘homeless.’”
He who deployed from Heaven on a life-saving mission from His Father that only He could accomplish knows the costs His people in the military have paid. Jesus, our great Commander in Chief, has made this incredibly heartening promise to them and to all His sojourning soldiers of the faith: “And anyone who gives up his home, brothers, sisters, father, mother, wife, children, or property, to follow me, shall receive a hundred times as much in return, and shall have eternal life” (Matthew 19:29, TLB).
Thank you for traveling with us in partnership as a prayer warrior contending in prayer to God for the ministry of OCF, the military—and each other. What are your prayer requests or praises? How can we pray for you?