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Have you ever felt lost, alone, far from home—for no good reason? I have! This feeling can overwhelm me even when everything is really okay in my life. Feeling lost isn’t necessarily a rational emotion. A scripture found only in the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible illustrates poignantly how I sometimes feel: “What man among you, having a son, and he shall be standing out, and shall say, Father, open thy house that I may come in and sup with thee, will not say, Come in, my son” (JST Matthew 7:17).
Sometimes I feel like the son standing outside, yearning to be “part of the family” again, longing for the invitation to “come in.” The scripture indicates that the Father will say, “Come in.” I know my Father is standing with arms outstretched, always inviting me, so why can’t I always feel it?
So Many Ways to Feel Lost
Has there ever been a time in the history of mankind when it is so easy to feel lost? We can be lost in the tsunami wave of information and images and noise and distractions. We can become lost in the myriad options and opportunities and seeming necessities that all vie for our time. Lost in the alluring voices of false values and humanism. Lost in the never-ending demands of a complicated society that touts activity as the ultimate and leaves precious little chance for quiet prayer and meditation.
Trying to find our way “home” we may be pulled into all kinds of counterfeit houses that turn out NOT to be “home” at all. Like looking for love in all the wrong places, we may look for “home” in all the wrong places. But in the final analysis, there is only one sure “home”—Jesus.
Invitation to Come Home
Not long ago when I was feeling lost I suspected general conference would offer me a chance to regain the spiritual connection I seemed to be missing. I had so often found solace and strength from that venue. Saturday, the first day of conference I fasted, asking for the Spirit to speak to my heart. I enjoyed both sessions and recognized the brilliance of the messages, but I wasn’t feeling them. What I was feeling was hungry, crabby, and irritable. I was disappointed.
Sunday morning I flipped on the TV just as the Tabernacle Choir broadcast was starting—not really expecting to feel any more than I had the day before. Mid-way through the broadcast the choir began singing a song called “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling.” I was drawn in, almost breathless. The song was speaking to my “lostness”—speaking to my heart. The barriers came tumbling down and I felt the Spirit in great abundance. The feeling continued throughout morning conference—every talk seemed to have something special that applied to me in a very real way.
Between sessions I got on the Internet to see if I could find the words to the song that had softened my heart—so comforting, so exactly what I needed to hear. I wanted to read those words over and over. Within seconds I found what I was looking for on HymnSite.com. What a blessing to have such access through modern technology. Both music and text are by Will L. Thompson. Here are the hauntingly beautiful words:
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals he’s waiting and watching
Watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home;
Ye who are weary come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!
Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not his mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?
Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.
O for the wonderful love he has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.
So Much to Come Home To
I read those words over and over recently and thought, “Christmastime is a perfect time of year to “come home to Jesus”! I decided to get up early so I would have some uninterrupted time with the scriptures, knowing that reading His words and the prophecies about Him has so often been part of my “coming home.”
It came into my mind to turn to the words “Jesus Christ” in the topical guide. For some reason I had never read through all those references in tandem, even though President Nelson has suggested that very practice. I saw that 18 pages (240-258) in my quad are all references about Jesus! I skimmed through them with a feeling of awe.
At one point I went through and underlined the headings that define and describe Jesus: Advocate, the Anointed one, Creator, Deliverer, Exemplar, Firstborn, Good Shepherd, Jehovah, Light of the Word, Lord, Messenger of the Covenant, Only Begotten Son, Redeemer, Rock, Savior, Second Comforter, Son of God, Son of Man. . . Doing nothing more than reading that list lifts my spirits and reminds me how much we have to “come home” to! Such love, such redemptive power!
Jesus Is Calling: Come Home!
We can be sure that His welcome mat is always out, His voice is always pleading
“Come home, come home; Ye who are weary come home”
If we do nothing else this Christmas season, may we come home to Christ. As we celebrate His birth may we come home to His love, to His forgiveness, to His redemption. May we feel His comforting arms around us and know He cares no matter where we have been in our lives. He is pleading for us to come in and sup with Him, to realign our lives to be in accord with His words. No matter what heart-breaking happenings we have experienced, He will dry our tears and lead us to a brighter day.
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, calling each of us to come home! Will we heed His call?