House and Home

Read: Psalm 23

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. (vv. 2-3)

How would you describe the difference between a “house” and a “home”? One is physical and temporary, made with boards, nails, and concrete. The other is emotive and elusive, harder to describe. Unlike our English language, the Dutch have a single word to sum up this concept: “gellezig,” meaning cozy, warm . . . a place of the heart.

Both “house” and “home” matter to God. In the Hebrew Bible, where we lay down at night is meant to be a place of physical safety and emotional comfort. “You will lie down, and none will make you afraid.” (Job 11:19)

On the afternoon of May 19, 2020, a series of dam failures flooded hundreds of neighborhoods, destroying thousands of structures in the Mid-Michigan region around Midland and Sanford. Two years later, many families are still living in hotels, campers, unfinished concrete basements, or guest rooms. Their homes, through no fault of their own, are still undergoing renovations and repairs.

Over the next two weeks, we will focus on stories that swirl around this man-made disaster and look for glimpses of God. He’s always there. As you read about their plight, pray for these individuals and families to reclaim those physical structures, but even more so their sense of peace and safety. Don’t forget to thank him for your own. —Tammy DeRuyter

As you pray, thank God for providing your home and a place to safely rest your head!

About the Author

Tammy DeRuyter is a former stockbroker turned student of theology and history. She holds master’s degrees in both from Fuller Theological Seminary and Central Michigan University. Married for more than 25 years to Michael, an ordained RCA pastor, they have three emerging, young adult children ages 20, 21, and 22—the youngest of whom was adopted at 11.