Straight from a Homing Heart
By Lisa Elliott

I have never done a study on Homing Pigeons. All I know is that they have an innate, God-given instinct that always leads them back home to their nest. I understand this instinct. The only problem is I haven’t known where “home” is, other than my eternal home in Heaven. This has been an ongoing conversation between the Lord and me for years.

You see, for the last four decades, my husband and I have given our all for the church in pastoral ministry and followed the Lord to serve Him wherever He has led. We have made ourselves at home in five different communities. We have operated much like the Israelites in their years of wilderness wandering, following the cloud by day and the fire by night. “Whenever the cloud lifted from above the tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out” (Number 9:15-23, NIV).

Was our experience going to be like this once my husband retired from pastoral ministry? And where would the cloud finally settle once and for all? Where would we eventually call “home?”

As his retirement approached, the Lord impressed Psalm 37:7 upon my husband’s heart. It says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” (NIV). So, that’s what we did. What we didn’t expect was that God would move in so quickly to move us out of our stillness. It was like we were caught up in Elijah’s whirlwind as boxes were packed up and our house was readied for resale. Even so, we didn’t have a clear direction for where we would land. So, we fasted and prayed.

We prayed for guidance. We prayed for peace. We prayed for clear direction. We prayed for specific details to be worked out. We prayed for glaring red lights to stop us in our tracks and bright green lights to move us ahead. Ultimately, we prayed that wherever the Lord brought us, one day we would be able to declare the goodness of God to those around us and give glory to Him.

Red light after red light flashed before our eyes as we set out and explored territory in the direction we sensed the Lord leading us. My “homing devices” were on red alert as property after property was a No-Go. Discouragement became our companion. Anxiety robbed us of sleep at night and pressed up against us in daylight hours. Hopelessness knocked at our door.

Just ahead of the verse the Lord had laid upon my husband’s heart was a verse He had laid upon mine, “delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4, NIV). What were the desires of my heart? And, dare I expect Him to give them to me?

I poured over God’s Word daily, delighting myself in Him as I began listing some of my heart’s desires: To live close enough to my mom to honour her in her old age, to live close enough to my son and his wife to support them in ministry, to accommodate our youngest daughter until the Lord fulfills the desire of her heart with a life-partner, and to have access to at least one airport to enable us to visit our daughter and her family who live in another province. Oh, and if He would grant me a gas fireplace, that would be a bonus!

We prayed that God would part the Red Sea for us to walk across on dry land—and He did! Within twenty-four hours, He sold our house and helped us purchase another one. It is located right where our family of six lived; the place where our family was whole. It feels like home to me.

The Lord performed miracle after miracle to make it all happen. You can believe that He gave me the desires of my heart, and then some. Including a gas fireplace! I feel blessed beyond measure.

To God be the glory! Great things He has done.

“'Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,' says the Lord Almighty. 'Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,' says the Lord Almighty” (Malachi 3:10-12, NIV).

About this Contributor:

Lisa Elliott

Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple, Dancing in the Rain, and A Ministry Survival Guide. She’s also a writer for Just Between Us Magazine, theStory, and Good Ground. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (three on earth, one in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, ON, Canada.

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