For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. —2 Cor. 5:1
One year ago, Oct. 10th, 2014, we moved out of our rental house after four months of waiting. The reason why I could recall the date so easily is that our landlord graciously extended ten more days for our rent, which turned out to be a tremendous help for us to get everything sorted out, packed, and ready to go! As much as we tried to have advanced planning when looking for a house, we didn’t expect two-weeks of waiting would turn into four-months of waiting with “two more weeks” reply each time due to some complicated juvenile court case issues. Eventually, we started to refer to our house as a “maybe” house to our 4-year-old son as our faith dwindled bi-weekly. If you have been through some trying waiting period, you probably can relate to the anxiety involved and understand how the uncertain circumstances can push you to prayer.
This “maybe” period of time was filled with many cleaning tasks, but no major construction or repair work since we didn’t actually own the house. The bonding with a newborn was protected. I had time to rest and recover after just giving birth to our second son. For a time, it was the “date day” destination with my hubby before the predictable waiting time ended. Something like three months down the road, our faith was stretched on a daily basis. It was when our one year rent was about to end along with the summer break, the prime time (in our eyes) to do outside construction work, doubts and confusion started to build up. And how about all the work we already did if we don’t get the house? We learned to cast our anxieties over to the Lord everyday as a family and trust His plans are greater.
Looking back, like many things we have witnessed before, God’s plans are far better. We are grateful for all the waiting days and months to sharpen our vision, to bring more clarity to why we are staying where we are for this season of life, to have the freedom to go anywhere if it is the Lord’s will. We used to think we would not need to own a house since our hearts are for missions. The mission starts where we are, right now, right here! The possessions shouldn’t be obstacles in expanding God’s Kingdom but it is the greed of possessions that would blur the Kingdom vision.
It’s easy for us to see blessings as the world has defined, but God’s blessings are abundant every single day even when life is hard or uncertain. He uses those hard times to increase our faith and to put aside our self-sufficiency. His blessings are always beyond measure!
I wrestled with the thought/guilt that I don’t get to record all the blessings, but after many prayers, the Lord has given me the peace to know that my Father would provide the time and words to share more of His faithfulness when His timing is right. Just “press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14). I am never lacking in the Provider of all good things and life has to move on. By His mercy and grace, my best effort to glorify His Name is good enough. After all, it is the Spirit doing all the good work, not me. I am delighted in what He has given, including the time to write now! Time alone with a clear mind seems like a rare commodity nowadays and I certainly don’t want to take it for granted.
The Lord has been so faithful in His perfect timing as always, though it might not seem like it for the time being. “Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.” (Exodus 23:20) His promises are trustworthy! In our five-year stay in America, we moved four times. Our Heavenly Father has provided abundantly for our needs each time (a quick look at our journey here). I was challenged to evaluate what we truly needed during each transition. God used each move to prepare us for the next in so many ways. I can’t write everything down here, but I do desire the Spirit would sustain me to record some snapshots of blessings for the most recent move as a spiritual milestone for my family. Hopefully, it can serve as an encouragement for whoever God has led to read this as well. I would like to hear your moving story as well! Know that where we live is not a coincidence!