For those who travel and yearn for home – A Guest Post

Traveling outside your home country and living abroad can be transformational.  It doesn’t just change your perspective on foreign food or fashion.  If you are a follower of Jesus, God can use travel to work on your soul.  This guest post is by MaryAnn Slayton, an American citizen who has spent decades outside the United States.  She currently resides in northern Namibia.

**********************************************************************************************************************

Travel.  Do you think of a cruise ship, castles on the Rhine, a car ride across the state to reunite with those you love, a short ministry visit to a needy place?  Whatever the case, you will leave the familiar and the comforts of home for a relatively short time, then you will return to them.  You’ll most likely say something like, “It was a great trip.  But it’s so good to be home.”

My Lord Jesus has called me, and maybe you, too, to go out from the places we have known, leave the familiar, and be led by Him to a place of His choosing.  This isn’t a trip with the end in sight.  There is no return to the home as we left it.  The travel is physically and geographically real; but more than that, God uses travel to accomplish real work in our soul.

“God uses travel to accomplish real work in our soul.”

Once again, God has taken me from my homeland.  He has removed me far from those I love and from any who affirm me or stroke my ego.  In this place, I am not known.  No one knows me, my abilities, talents, my likes and dislikes, my hobbies.  I am alien to this place, and it to me.  I talk funny and sometimes act inappropriately without even knowing it (until much later, maybe).  It is clear even to the casual observer on the street that this woman does not really belong here.  The rug is pulled out from under me.  My cherished props are gone.  And right here is where the Master reminds my soul that I am, after all, appointed to pilgrimage.

When the rug is pulled out from under me, where does my soul land? Do I fling and flail about, grasping at my props, my loves, securities?  Traveling by faith, and not by sight means that I land on a solid, broad place, as Psalm 18 instructs.  And so, He sets me down securely and says, “It’s time to consider me.  Compare all I endured to what you now endure.  Preach my truths loudly to your soul!”

“The remedy for weariness and discouragement of the soul is to fix our eyes on Him, to gaze intently and unflinchingly on the One who planted my faith and who will make it perfect.”

The remedy for weariness and discouragement of the soul is to fix our eyes on Him, to gaze intently and unflinchingly on the One who planted my faith and who will make it perfect. And I don’t mean for us to gaze on Him for fifteen minutes in a “morning quiet time”.  We gaze on Him when we want to cry because there’s no water again; or when your husband can’t give you the attention you want because his rug has been pulled out too.   Gaze on Him any time you sense your soul is slightly restless, or at the other end of the spectrum, your soul is in agony – and any point in between.  At all these points throughout the day I stop and consider the Savior and ponder deeply the testimony of all those who have persevered in this journey before me.

I remind myself that my Father does discipline and rebuke his true children in order to perfect our faith.  He means business!  The Counselor, the Maker of my soul, has been instructing me – giving me homework – while I journey and dwell on Hebrews 11 and 12.  Consider how, by faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out.  As he traveled, literally, God was training his soul to see the final fulfillment of all His promises.  He did recognize the promises from afar, and embraced them, and confessed that he was a pilgrim, alien, foreigner, traveler.  He no longer desired to return to the country from which he had come because he looked for the heavenly city, with foundations, built by God Himself.  God was growing his faith, deepening its roots.  This is the Place more Real than real.  It’s Heaven, and it’s eternal life.  It’s where my soul will finally, perfectly, set down.

“God took Abraham’s homeland from him so that he could plant in him a yearning for a better, heavenly home.”

God took Abraham’s homeland from him so that he could plant in him a yearning for a better, heavenly home.  I want God to train the eyes of my soul to see that same Place, the fulfillment of all He has promised me; to endure as seeing Him who is invisible.

So, travelers, let’s do our homework!  Your travels, your time away from home, are a unique circumstance in which God instructs your soul and leads you to long for a better Home.

2 thoughts on “For those who travel and yearn for home – A Guest Post

    1. Lyle, it’s so good to hear from you! And likewise, may the Lord bless you abundantly with everything you need to minister to your community there in Oregon, Our love to Vivian, too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s