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Knowing Where Home Is

September 1, 2015 One Comment
Rev. Paul Zabel

Rev. Paul Zabel

by Paul Zabel

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”
(Matthew 11: 28, KJV).

Have you ever taken a vacation or gone on holidays and after a few days away from home thought or said to yourself, “Boy, it sure will be good to be back home again!” When I travel away from home, often times it is these type of thoughts that I find myself having. When it is time to go, I am anxious to get going; but after I am gone for awhile, it sure will feel good to be back home again!

Having grown up and spent my adolescence in an urban environment in the city of Detroit, God sure had a sense of humour in calling me to serve rural congregations for thirty years as a parish pastor. Not long after I arrived in Clifford, Ontario, I can remember my family and I eating supper with one of the dairy farmers and his family who were members of the congregation. As my children were rather young at the time, we were invited to come wearing clothes that would be appropriate for going out into the dairy barn to see the cows being milked following that evening’s meal. As the cows were out pasturing in a field that was quite a distance away when we arrived, I naively inquired during the course of the meal as to how the cows would be gathered into the barn for the milking that night. Would the farmer have to go out and somehow coerce or prod the cows back into the barnyard? The farmer’s simple reply was, “Oh, I don’t have to do that. They always return home in the evening. They know where home is.”

They always return home in the evening. They know where home is.

The cows knew where home was. They had their bearings and knew where their security was to be found. They start out following the morning milking to graze in the pasture. Perhaps the day is good for them. They find lush green grasses wherever they go, and a stream from which they can drink refreshing water. Or the day may not be of such a sort. The grass may be sparse and the water inaccessible because of a gate being closed or some other obstacle in the way. There may be thistles with which they have to contend. But they know at end of day where home is.

Do you see the parallel in your life and mine? There is a loving heavenly Father who waits for us at the close of each day. His invitation is always the same: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest!” Whether the day has been good or bad, there is no greater happiness for us than to know where our true home is, and to be assured that underneath are the everlasting arms of God.


Rev. Paul Zabel is President of the East District of Lutheran Church–Canada.

One Comment »

  • John Flanagan said:

    I agree. We should have a view toward home as our Heavenly destination and we are enroute as pilgrims and strangers on the earth, doing what the Lord wants along the way.

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