“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
and you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
We've moved 10 times in the nearly 14 1/2 years that we've been married. Ten times. You would think I'd be a pro at this. Things have not gone well since our move and I have been looking for some clarity from God concerning what I thought would be and what actually is.
Today makes two weeks since we arrived in Mississippi and admittedly, I was not crazy about the move to start with. I was content in Orlando and could have happily stayed there, but God had different plans.
Just to get you up to speed, let me start with the problems. The housing we were counting on fell through, so we're still at my parents' house. Now granted, they've been gracious, but this is not what we anticipated. Because we're still here, Robert is commuting 3 hours round trip each day to get to his job sites. And have you heard about the price of gas??? Tuesday the brakes went out on the front of my Durango and had to be replaced. Wednesday Robert had to have emergency dental work (side note: insurance hasn't kicked in yet). And to top it all off, our sweet Jack cat went missing a week ago. I am longing for my friends, my comfortable little house, and the relative predictability of my life.
So let me tell you how this child of grace reacted to all of this. I second guessed God, my husband, and myself. I cried, I got angry, and I haven't been the most positive person to be around. Surely all of this was coming to pass because we grossly misunderstood His directing. I asked God for some reassurance and was led to start reading in Genesis chapter 12.
Has anyone ever thought about Sarah's perspective of this story? Here Sarah was in her comfortable life in Ur when Abram informed her they were moving to Canaan. "Um, where? Why would we leave all we love? We have family, friends, a life here." But according to the scriptures, Abraham took Sarah and headed into this unknown land on a promise. The scripture goes on to tell us that they found a picturesque setting, built a lovely new house, were surrounded by great neighbors, and made friends quickly . . .
They followed God's promise to go into Canaan where their name would be great, they would be blessed, and they would be protected. When they got there, they found the country that God had promised them, but it was inhabited by a hostile people and there was a FAMINE! Clearly that was not in the travel brochures.
So they went with Plan B: head south to Egypt. Sweet! Egypt! Always wanted to visit there! Of course when they got there, Abraham made a less than favorable impression by lying to the Pharaoh about Sarah. Sarah almost ended up as one of Pharaoh's wives, God sent a plague to remedy the situation, and Pharaoh kicked both of them out of the country.
Can you imagine the conversation that went on behind closed doors??? "Abe, you're still clinging to this promise right? Great name? Blessings? Protection?" Do you think that at any point Sarah said, "Okay! Enough! Things are clearly not working out." How did any of these problems, or the problems to come, impact or alter God's promise for Abraham and Sarah? The truth is, they didn't. God was faithful and saw His plan through in His time.
Sarah and I have a little bit in common here. I am forced to relearn the lesson of being a good steward of circumstances over and over again. I tend to get bogged down in the details and fail to see God working in even the small issues that arise. I consistently fail to understand that the struggles are part of the process. This, friends, is how faith is cultivated.
By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;
For he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
In essence, Abraham died before seeing the promise come to its fruition. His faith is counted great not because he saw and believed, but because he didn't see yet believed. How shallow my faith is when I consider those who suffered genuine tribulation, not the inconveniences I've experienced recently. A work in progress, that's what I am, and so very far from being finished. I have a lot to be be thankful for and I guess things could be worse. After all, Sarah was living in a tent!