Saturday, 6 May 2017

Not Selling Our House and Being Thankful

Okay, time for some real talk.

Almost a year ago, my husband took a job as a youth minister in a school division three hours from where we had been living. We faithfully put our house on the market, packed up our two kids, and moved.

I never would have dreamed that, a year later, our house would still be on the market. When we move in faith, we expect God to do the expected. The house selling would have reduced our financial burden, would have really confirmed that we were meant to move, and just decreased the stress of this monumental change in our lives.

But, God often does not do the expected.

"Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." Phillippians 4:6-7

As Christians, we are called to pray about everything, to make our requests and petitions known to God. God cares about our desires, limited though they may be compared to the true good desires He has for us, and He wants to hear about them. However, He stresses that along with every petition, we must be willing to offer thanksgiving.

In the face of our home not selling: thanksgiving. In the face of Tharin losing the job, we turned our lives upside down for: thanksgiving. In the face of a million unknowns and a brand new ministry on the horizon: thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving because, when prayers do not seem to be answered, God is not telling us no, but is telling us, just wait. 

Hard as is it to accept, being asked to wait is, in itself, a blessing. We do not see the reason for God's delay, and this can sometimes make it appear to be against our best interests, but the way we respond to delay is a good measure, and a good test, of our spiritual maturity. Like the Israelites in Exodus, who devise the golden calf as an idol when God was taking too long with Moses on the mount, we can be called to idols, or to taking matters into our own hands when we are made to wait. Or, we can grow in perseverance, and in submission, as we are required to do as Christians; waiting is actually the perfect opportunity to grow in trust.

And in being thankful for the plan of God, present even when we are asked to wait, He gives us a peace that surpasses all understanding, giving us the tools we need to see truth and goodness in every situation. So, although it seems to be foolish, and it surpasses human understanding, Tharin and I continue to trust that the house not yet selling is God's plan and that He has a very good reason for asking us to wait, and wait, and wait some more.

Nope, I am not perfect. I need every opportunity to grow in trust and in faithfulness. But I try to be thankful for this period of waiting, as I can already see so many ways God has guided my desires from what we thought was good before, to what He actually desires. If we had not waited, we would likely not be in a place of such submission, in the place of openness we are now in, and it is so exciting to wonder what good plan He has us waiting, so expectantly, for.

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