I think I’m going to have to stop watching Home and Garden TV. I do like the show “Fixer Upper” with Chip and Joanna Gaines (Those of us who have followed them for a long time just refer to them as Chip and JoJo). But I need to stop watching the rest of the shows, especially “House Hunters.”

First of all, I don’t know where these people come up with their home-buying budget. The show usually starts like this: “Today, we have Bill and Sheila, who are looking for a home in or near Beverly Hills, Calif. Bill works as a cat walker, and Sheila runs a nonprofit organization for runaway snails. Their budget for their new home is $3 million.”

I may not be the smartest person in the world, but I don’t believe there is that much money to be made in cat walking. And I can’t be the only one sitting out there thinking something fishy is going on. My mind goes through the list of ways they could make that much money: Mafia, drug-dealing or a rich uncle somewhere in the attic. I know I shouldn’t judge, but really?
Then comes the show’s flip side. In the beginning, the realtor sits down and asks the couple about their “must haves.” I only have two: a roof and locks for the doors. And out of those two, I’ll settle for the roof. But the couple’s must-have list goes something like this: “We need seven bedrooms, eight baths and a multiplex theater room, a pool with an infinity edge (You know you’ve watched too much HGTV when you use words like ‘infinity edge’ and ‘shiplap’) and a moat around the house.”

“Well, that’s an interesting list, and what is your budget?”

“We have saved $126.78 to make a down payment on our new home.”
“Well, you have given me quite a challenge.”

They always seem to choose couples whose personalities clash. He is practical; she is pouty, and when those two get together, pouty always wins. At the end of the show, we get to see their top three selections and are supposed to guess which one they’ll choose. By this time, I’m yelling at the television. “Get an education, get a real job. Move into an apartment; save your money for something better.”

But in the end, the couple will choose one of the houses and look into the camera, smiling and saying, “We have found our ‘forever home.’”
“House Hunters” uses the term “forever home” a lot. This is a relatively new phrase for me when referring to real estate. I guess it means this is the last house the couple will ever purchase, and they plan to live in it until the day they die. It’s a nice thought, but not a practical one.

I too am looking at my “forever home.” It’s not of this world; it’s not built by human hands. It doesn’t have bedrooms or a pool with an infinity edge. Yet it is priceless; nothing in this world can come close. The most opulent home on earth would be considered rubbish by comparison. The lighting will be His shekinah glory; the decorations will be the heavenly host. The theme of the music is “Worthy is the Lamb.” And the only “must have” is Jesus.

All of this is waiting for me, and it didn’t cost me a thing. I wasn’t looking for a forever home when I entered into a relationship with Him. I gave Him my sin, my brokenness, my hopelessness, and He gave me life and life abundant. It wasn’t until I got to John 14:1-3 that I discovered my forever home:

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

The Bible tells me some things are not allowed in my forever home. Sickness is forbidden; sorrow has no place to rest its head, and as you enter this home, Jesus will wipe away any tears. This is what a forever home is all about (Rev. 21:4).

I know for a fact that, one of these days, the house I live in will become too big; the yard will be too hard to keep up, and my kids will want to move me into assisted living. Watch for me. I’ll be the one in the wheelchair with an eye toward the sky, because soon and very soon, I will occupy my “forever home.”