A few years ago a friend of ours named Benny decided that he was going to sell one of his horses. Bessie was 19 years old and she had lived on Benny’s farm her entire life. So one day Benny loaded big Bessie into his horse trailer. One of the reasons why Bessie was so big was she was expecting. Horses commonly have 100 pound babies so she had a good reason to be extra big. After loading her into the horse trailer, Benny took her for a two hour drive to Kentucky to a horse auction.
It just happened that Ronnie was at the same horse auction, and when it was Bessie’s turn to be sold, Ronnie bought her. Since he didn’t have a horse trailer with him, he didn’t take her home right away. But about two days later, Ronnie went and loaded her into the horse trailer and then he took her to her new home. A couple of weeks later my husband was talking to Ronnie and he asked,“How do you like your new horse?” Ronnie answered, “She’s a nice horse, but she has some really strange habits. He said, “I’ll put her in the pasture where there’s some wonderful green grass for her to eat, plenty of water and other horses to keep her company, but almost every day big Bessie will jump over the fence and start heading down the road.” Then he added, “There are two things that are really strange. First, how can a big pregnant horse like that jump over the fence? Then the other strange thing is that she always heads down the road the same direction, like she’s going somewhere.”
One day while Ronnie was at work a neighbor of his called him and said, “Your horse jumped the fence again and she’s heading down the road.” So Ronnie jumped into his truck and headed for home. Although Bessie had been gone for quite awhile, Ronnie had a feeling he knew just the direction Bessie was going, because she always went the same way every time. And sure enough, he found her just a short distance from Benny’s farm. When he found her, she didn’t even look his way. She continued plodding with determination to the place that had been her home for 19 years. To Bessie, there was just no place like home.
Although this horse was driven over 100 miles away from home and then taken directly to a new location, her instincts for home never faltered. Deep inside of this horse was this innate sense of where she belonged. And just as God has put this sense and this longing for home in animals, He’s put a longing for home in our hearts too, not just for our earthly homes, but for our heavenly home. 1 Chronicles 29:15 says “For we are strangers before you, and sojourners, as were all our fathers, our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding...” In other words, we don’t really belong here, we’re strangers in a strange land, because heaven is our home. We’re like Abraham who looked for a city whose builder and maker is God. Like the song says, “we’re just a passin’ through.”
In quiet moments of meditation the feelings come... a yearning, a longing and an indescribable void. And here’s the diagnosis. Heaven is our real home, that’s why our hearts will never really feel completely at home anywhere else.