My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so,
would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with me
that you also may be where I am.
John 14:2-3 (NIV)
Last summer I revisited the farm where I had spent some time as a young person. As I drove over the back roads from Highway 11 to the crossroads where the farm was, along with a small clapboard church, a one room school, and a cemetery—which made up three of the four corners—I hardly recognized the spot.
The tiny church building had a new entrance built onto it. Trees had grown up around the one room school, hiding most of it from view. The front field where I often watched my uncle mowing hay was now grown over with all kinds of trees 20 or more feet high. The once visible farm house was hidden from the dusty road that went by.
I visited the cemetery where several dozen Rumfords were buried including my grandparents, great grandparents and my own beloved brother. I found myself wanting to get away from the scene. I wished to recall it in my memory as it was in happy, carefree times of childhood.
I recalled an expression I had heard years ago which said, you can’t go home. That day I realized that it was so true. The farm I recalled in my mind was long gone. Only foundations stood where the barn, farmhouse, and other structures had stood for 75 or more years.
Then I thought of a home that is being prepared for me by the Saviour Himself. Our verses for today came to mind. As the gentle summer breeze whispered through the stately pine trees bordering the cemetery, I thought of the coming Day when those graves would give up their dead. I thought of the great shout that the whole world would hear, the sound of a trumpet and of all the eyes that would see Jesus return.
I knew that I would meet Rumfords who died before I was born. They would tell me about how they worshipped in the little country church I also attended when I was a boy.
The thought of what God has in store for His people of all ages seemed to overwhelm me, and I rejoiced in my heart that even though I could never go home to the places in my past, yet there is a home being prepared right now that will be mine forever. It will be glorious beyond description. The Saviour I have loved and presented to thousands of people here will be the centerpiece of heaven and we shall all delight ourselves in Him.
The past is like dye cast into water. It cannot be retrieved. It cannot be gathered back into its container. Let us leave the past where it is and fix our eyes on our glorious, remarkable, unspeakable future and press forward. Keeping our focus on the future will strengthen us for today and keep our hearts full of hope and joy.