By Amy Hauptman

The Only Permanent Thing

As we entered this year’s Lent season last week, I started to wrestle with and reflect on the second half of Luke 9:58:

“...but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

As an almost 30-year-old, I can’t help but admit: I long for a home, a permanent place. I am tired of living in apartments, of having to look for new roommates, of moving, of transitions. And, to be perfectly honest, as a single person, I’m tired of my own singleness—the loneliness, and the absence of a life partner.

I am at an age where I think I’m supposed to “have arrived.” So why haven’t I?

But then I read Luke 9:58, and I’m reminded that Jesus lived his entire life without a permanent address. He was not born in his home town or a hospital but in someone else’s manger—apparently where the animals were kept.

At Jesus’ birth, he had “no place to lay his head.”

Also, after his crucifixion, there was no place to lay Jesus’ body. Instead, another man (Joseph of Arimathea) gave up his own burial plot for Jesus’ body to be laid there instead.

When Jesus died, he had “no place to lay his head.”

I wrestle with the reality of how much my heart yearns for a permanent address or things that seem or feel permanent. But Jesus’ life and the gospel he preached revealed that there is truly only one good and permanent thing in this world.

Our Father’s love.

This love is what Jesus taught, shared, modeled, and implored others to know and experience for themselves. And this love was not attached to things. It was not co-dependent or unhealthy.

It was sacrificial.

The Father’s love that Jesus knew was so good that he was willing to obey and trust God absolutely, even to death on a cross.

Lent is an opportunity for us all to seek God, to identify the areas in our lives where we don’t trust God, and in the end to take steps toward trusting him more fully by choosing to trust and obey him. May we all—no matter what our life circumstances are—specifically reflect on and repent of the ways we’ve forgotten that the Father’s love is enough. And may we grow in our own understanding  of the deep, deep love of the Father made available to us through Jesus Christ.

Amy Hauptman worked for InterVarsity for a number of years, first as a campus staff member at the University of California–Davis, the University of Nevada–Reno, and Truckee Me

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