I’ve been thinking about Arkansas a lot lately, my home state. I really just want to go “home,” but then I thought, where would that be, exactly? I grew up in Hot Springs and Benton (not Bentonville, that’s where Walmart is, Benton is near Little Rock), but it’s been many years since I have had an actual address in either city. I have lived in Kansas, Texas, West Virginia, and Oklahoma, as well, and I like things about all of those places. And, though I do still call my parents’ house “home,” it’s not really home now. I know that if I could pack up my family and take over my mom’s house, it wouldn’t be the same. Dad is in Heaven, my siblings, Kevin and Melanie, don’t regularly visit, and my mom has redecorated the whole place in the intervening years. Not only that, if I do move “home” I will find problems exist there, too. I will still have bills and will still get sick. Maybe I want to just rewind time, and be twelve again? No. Scratch that. Those years were hard, too.
I guess the home I really long for is Heaven. Seeing my Savior face-to-face, singing His praises, being free from pain, tears, and the horrible, nasty word “goodbye.” I wonder if I will be able to hug the Lord when I get to Heaven? I know I will be able to worship at His feet. Yes, I am definitely looking forward to arriving at that home. Not that I have a death wish, but I am ready. I know I still have so much to do, but I am also genuinely tired. Like Paul, I can feel the constant warring of my carnal desires against what the Holy Spirit wants me to do and I feel like I’m always doing the wrong thing (Romans 7:18-19).
As you can imagine, this line of thinking led me into a depressed state. When I ponder how wrong I am, how wrong I will continue to be, and how futile this whole life feels sometimes, well it’s a drag. Then I thought again about home, in particular, Hot Springs, my birthplace. Hot Springs was the first national park, because the it was the first “federal government land reservation set aside for public use, a status achieved on April 20, 1832, when President Andrew Jackson signed the legislation to protect forty-seven hot springs on the slope of Hot Springs Mountain” (Encyclopedia of Arkansas). The water that flows from the springs is about 140°F, and it doesn’t matter whether the air temperature is 104°F or – 4°F, the water stays hot. In both summer and winter, you can see the steam rising. Anytime of year, it’s a sauna (pun intended, feel free to visit any number of spas on Bathhouse Row). No matter what the circumstances are around the springs, two things always happen: the water is always flowing, and it is always hot.
That is what God is for me. He is always faithful, always present through the Holy Spirit, and Jesus’ is always interceding on my behalf. His salvation is complete, the work is done, and Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. It is permanent. If I continue to feel depressed, my salvation is secure. If I am happy, my salvation is secure. If I am lazy, my salvation is secure. No matter what, I cannot lose Christ.
One day, the hot springs and the entire world will be no more, but even then, my salvation is secure.