I never thought much about this concept of "preparing a place" for someone until recently. As we have begun the process of adopting Levi, I have poured myself into building his room, an undertaking that involved everything from framing and drywall to painting and building shelves. And as I engaged in this process, one verse echoed through my mind daily. " I go to prepare a place for you."
It has been with great delight I have drilled and hammered. As my back and arms ache from each day's strenuous activities, I can only smile and dream of giving this special place, crafted with him in mind to Levi that fateful day when he becomes our own.
Each time we meet and interact, I probe him with questions to discover what spark's his young imagination that I might incorporate more and more tiny details of who he is into the place I am preparing for him.
The place is a product of our relationship, which is only in its infancy and yet this small room is also a reflection of all I perceive him to be. It has been crafted meticulously out of love and devotion, designed to instill security, comfort and hope into a little boy who has already gone through so much in his nine years of life. It is a symbol that he is ours and we are his for when he moves into that room to stay, he will be a Chun by adoption.
Like the disciples in the verses preceding this passage, life must be very confusing for Levi. Last weekend four of his brothers went to live with their adoptive family for good. We come and spend time with him and then have to say good bye. And when we do, he wraps his arms around Russ and squeezes as if he would perish if he dared let go. But he knows he must, for he is not yet ours.
And when I watch him hold onto Russ I want to say, "Don't worry Levi, we are going to prepare a place for you! A place of your very own where you belong. And when everything is prepared, then we will certainly return for you!"
In this experience, I have caught a glimpse of a heavenly truth. I can now imagine Christ pouring himself into preparing a place for each one of us -- a place of perfect design, crafted out of love and relationship, tailored to perfection to meet our every need. And in this preparation, He takes great joy for it represents what is coming -- us truly becoming wholly his.
So as we face the confusing moments of this life, when God seems to have turned away, we must hold on to the truth that He is never far. He is probing us and developing relationship with us as He joyfully prepares that place that we shall one day occupy as He bring us into Himself completely -- forever.