This is a week of welcome home’s for a few people in my life. Some pretty special welcome homes! Yesterday a friend from high school welcomed a precious baby girl into the world. Tonight a friend from church welcomes her husband home from his time of service in Afghanistan. And later this week a life-long friend welcomes home her husband (who also happens to be a life-long friend) from his lengthy deployment in Iraq.
As I’ve seen the joy, the anticipation, the planning that surrounds these homecomings, I feel like God is giving me a tiny glimpse of what He feels like when one of us returns “home”. I’ve heard most of my life that when someone commits his or her life to Christ for the first time that there is rejoicing in heaven. And I fully believe that. A royal celebration takes place up there any time a new soul is redeemed. A celebration that’s come with plenty of anticipation. A welcome home that is eagerly awaited, like a new parent waits to bring their newborn home. All of this planning for someone we’ve never met. But so worth it because that baby is being welcomed into the family in a big way!
This welcome home that my girlfriends have been planning for their husbands is a little different. It’s a welcome home for someone who was with them, but then left. There’s a different anticipation with that welcome home. You know who and what you’ve been missing. Like when the prodigal son’s father heard he was returning. The celebration for his return was nothing like people in that area had ever seen.
Do you have a welcome home in your future? Maybe you’ve never come to know who God really is and experience the power of a life lived in Him. Maybe you’ve known God and lived the fullness of that life in your past, but you’re the prodigal right now. Either way, there is a royal celebration being planned on the other side of heaven at the anticipation of your “welcome home”. Picture the welcome home signs, the friends and family that have gone before and a spread of all of your favorite things. That’s what will happen in heaven upon your welcome home. And God is there waiting, with arms wide open.
In the mean time, welcome to the world sweet Atlee. You were born into a pretty spectacular family. Welcome home Gerald! Hawaii isn’t a bad stop after that big sand box! And Ben, so proud of you! So happy Jess and Avery get you back!