The Road Back Home

Written by Sarah Thomas

Photograph by Heather Broughman

Have you heard of the song called, Take me home, country roads? John Denver sings the lyrics, “country roads, take me home to the place where I belong.” This lyric reminds me of the invitation that God extends to both you and me. The invitation to “come home” to Him when we’ve lost our way, a reminder that with Him, we belong. I experienced this invitation when I accepted the Lord into my life. However, for many of us, there are times during our walk with God in which we can experience a setback or maybe start to feel like we’ve become distant from God. 

I experienced this as a teenager. When I was at a church camp, the pastor began teaching on the Lord’s grace. During the service that particular night, the pastor shared that when we sin, the Lord would always forgive us upon repentance. As 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all

unrighteousness (HCSB).” 

Somehow this truth became twisted in my head. I thought that as long as I had time to repent, I would be okay to live my life the way that I wanted to. I thought that I would have enough time to put my life back together and come back to Christ whenever I wanted. I considered this misinterpretation of God’s grace to be a license to continue living a life of destructive behavior instead of surrendering my life to Him. I didn’t consider God’s purpose for my life, what He wanted. It made me think I had more time left to make mistakes, and God would always be there to catch me when I fell. I was unteachable and just wanted to do things my way. 

Like Proverbs 22:15 says, I was like a child tangled up in the foolishness of my willful ways. 

The enemy can so easily sneak in with his lies and cause us to doubt God and His Word or try to twist our understanding of His Word or persuade us that our ways are better than God’s. When the enemy gets in and distorts God’s realities, it can really convolute our belief system and influence the choices we make. And only the Lord can uproot those lies and replace them with life- giving truths. 

But just like David said in Psalm 139:23-24, “Search me, oh God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,” (KJV) we, too, can invite God to search our hearts and reveal any lies we have bought into. This passage was actually instrumental in God bringing healing to me. 

There were so many lies that lingered like leeches within me throughout the years. I had let these lies continue to impact my life, because I honestly didn’t want to change yet. The childlike nature of my rebellion driving me further and further from home, with God, where I belong. Have you experienced anything like this in your own personal relationship with God? The enemy attacking the nature of God? Maybe telling you that you’re not good enough for God? Or perhaps that He won’t come through for you or doesn’t really care about what you’re facing?  

Whatever trick that the enemy may have used to create distance between you and God, you still have an invitation to come home. That you belong with Him. Think back to when you were first saved or a time when you knew you heard God very clearly. What was he saying on that day, at that moment? How did you feel when He spoke? He doesn’t change, He stays the same.

God wants to remind you of who you are in Him. That you are loved and wanted by Him. He hasn’t given up on you! He pursues us, even in our sin and rebellion, calling us home, to abide in Him. God is reaching out to you. He wants to speak to you on a daily basis. Can you hear Him calling out to you, eagerly desiring to share the plans He has for your future? Wanting to teach you, tell you His thoughts towards you, and help guide you through life’s stressful moments. 

Psalm 32:8 confirms that: “I will instruct you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you (NIV).” Will you let Him in or will you ignore His whisper as He calls out to you, inviting you to draw close and come home?

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