There’s No Place Like Home

  • Pete Johnson
Home pottery on a shelf

In the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, the main character Dorothy and a band of unlikely heroes defeated the Wicked Witch of the West. However, each one of the champions including Dorothy dealt with personal struggles of doubt and despair, along with the challenges that flying monkeys and poison poppies bring, until the very end.

One of the most famous lines in all of the film was Dorothy’s, “there’s no place like home”. Dorothy clicked her heels three times and was suddenly back home safe, and in her bed. The whole event was just a dream, brought on by head trauma.

Unfortunately for us, struggles such as doubt, fear, despair, and the feeling of being overwhelmed with the struggles of this world, are all too real. During these times of discouragement and fear are when we easily forget, that like Dorothy, we too are not yet home. Clicking our heels and repeating a mantra like Dorothy will not transport us to a “safe” place, but remembering that this world is not our home, can help us during difficult times.

Jesus never promised that our lives here on earth would be void of such things as the overwhelming feeling of “I just don’t know how I can do this”, the constant attacks from the devil, and the despair of things gone wrong. He told us these things would be coming. However, after he makes it clear that tribulation is unescapable, he makes one of the strongest statements of comfort and encouragement for the believer.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

In other words, even though everything on this earth is imploding, and because we are sojourning through it, we, at times are greatly impacted by it. BUT, the Sovereign Lord of the Universe has overcome it all: sin and death!

Jesus’ statement “take heart”, can be rendered as “be encouraged with confidence, even when there seems to be no earthly reason to be encouraged, or to have hope” “Why”, or the better question seems to be “How” can we be encouraged in times like these?

Because: Christ Jesus has overcome the world!

The Greek word “overcome” used here by Jesus, comes from the verb nikao (nik-ah’o) carrying the meaning to conquer, to prevail. Jesus conquered sin (spiritual death) and the grave (physical death) – the effects of a fallen world.

The old country song, This World is not my Home, by Jim Reeves renders it this way,

This world is not my home
I’m just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore

As Christians, we need to find peace and encouragement in Jesus’ words, and remember… There is no place like home, our heavenly home.