When Someone Comes Home

Hi friends,

I am hosting Gabriel Jones from DecentChristianTalk.com. He is an amazing musician, expert on Christian music, a historian and a educated voice on the web.  Make sure you check out his website!

 

Two-thirty in the morning. It wasn’t the first time I had been up this late. And to be honest it wouldn’t be the last. Through the fog of my intoxication, I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror. The person staring back at me was a stranger. My grey eyes told the story: I was dead inside.
I crawled into my bed. As usual, I had forgotten my limits and was sick. I closed my eyes hoping that the room would stop spinning. I put on a pair of headphones to listen to music hoping that it would help. The first song that came on (for whatever reason) was “Leaving 99” by Audio Adrenaline.
I’m lost and broken, all alone on this road
The wheels keep turnin’, but the feelin’ is gone
When I fear I’m on my own
You remind me I am not alone
 
The song immediately had my attention. I had probably heard the tune but it had never captured my attention like this before…
 
I’d leave ninety-nine
Leave them all behind
To find you
For you alone
 
I was immediately taken back to Sunday school where I had learned many of the parables that Jesus taught. This particular one referenced a story where the Shepherd leaves his flock of 99 to find his lost sheep. And on this late night, I felt more than lost. I felt dead. I wanted life.
 
It’s dark and lonely and the path is unclear
Can’t move my feet because I’m frozen in fear
Then you say, “My child, my child –
I am always here, I’m by your side”
 
Tyler Burkum’s (the song’s vocalist) voice has been described as amazing. But on this night I didn’t hear Tyler. I heard the voice of Jesus. I heard him tell me that I’m not alone. But, “my child”? That was a loaded phrase to me because I constantly felt like I had been letting down my earthly parents. During that time period, I never had thoughts of suicide. But I had definitely lost my desire to live.
 
You’re never too far down
I promise you’ll be found
I’ll reach into the mud and mirely clay
Pursue you to the end
Like a faithful friend
Nothing in this world can keep me away
 
I did not deserve this ‘pursuit’ that this song spoke of. But at that very moment, I accepted it. I accepted this undeserved pursuit that led me to being rescued from the ‘mud and mirely clay’. I’ve always heard the verse in the Bible that talks about ‘heaven rejoicing over one sinner who repents’ (Luke 15:7).
I heard a teacher describe this as the ‘Great Homecoming’. I have been in those airports when parents bring their newly adopted children home. The family gathers inside the terminal and when the child first appears, there is a huge celebration. All the time and money invested in adopting a child culminates in that moment. I always imagined that’s what heaven is like when someone comes ‘home’.
And on this particular night, heaven rejoiced.
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