Thursday, April 17, 2008

There's No Place Too Far

We had exciting news yesterday. Finally, after 1 year and nine months of living here in Georgia, we are buying land! Until now we have lived in a two bedroom cabin and then my mom's basement. We have loved both places and God has given us all that we have needed in both of these homes, but we've been like birds in a nest not our own. Most of our belongings have been quietly waiting on us in storage units as the days slipped by like yellow butterflies in a forever field of green grass. Finally, we are going to begin the process of building our own home. You know how it is for mothers--we crave our cave. A hunger for the place that with God's help I'll form into a haven for our family is so deeply embedded in my heart. There have been times when consumed with that very hunger, I had to confess to God that it was becoming more important to me than Him. He has patiently proven His sufficiency to me over and over and we have grown, even thrived despite not having a patch of earth attached to our name. So, with this news, you would think that elation would spew from me like hot lava or at least I'd be squealing like my mom's tea kettle when it's come to a boil. You would think. And yet if I'm honest (which you know me...I can't help but be) I stand before this change in our lives with fear, trembling and a little nausea in the pit of my stomach. The economy here has been uncertain in the last two years and many are losing their homes. Of course we have prayed and sought God's heart and plan for our lives regarding this decision. We never come to choices like this lightly and we've sought advice of others regarding whether we should build, buy or rent. Still, I get petrified when it comes to big choices like this. But just yesterday before we even found out about the land and when my mind was on other things, God really impressed on my heart the desire to memorize this verse. At the time, I didn't make any connection. "And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we profess, for the One who made the promise is trustworthy." (Hebrews 10:23) Later when we got the call that the land deal was going to fly I found myself whispering a prayer to God. Lord, will you give me a verse to cling to throughout this process. Now, I can tend to be a little slow, so I'm sure He was thinking...Ahh, yeah, I already did that; you memorized it this morning. Later that evening, He finally broke through the thousands of thoughts picnicking in my mind and reminded me of that passage of scripture I had committed to memory earlier in the day. You know when the crocus poke through the last bits of snow in early spring? The thought of that passage was like the first purple crocus in my flower gardens back in Ontario. In that moment, I realized, the God who I say that I believe in and count on had already gone before me and given me what I would need for the these upcoming days. "...the One who made the promise is trustworthy." How incredible is it when you realize the vastness, the greatness of our Heavenly Father? He is present in the future and knows what we will need. And He always provides. We have only to trust that He is in fact trustworthy. I've always loved the various attributes of God--omniscient, omnipotent, and today, I celebrate His omnipresence. Not only does God exist across the oceans where my sister and brother-in-laws serve as missionaries and in Ontario where my mother and father-in-law make their home, but His presence transcends time as we know it. He is present yesterday, today and tomorrow. Just thinking about His omnipresence washes me in relief and peace. Those things that can cause my heart to be anxious are in God's presence. My children's future, my husband's job, the local economy--these are all things that are beyond me. Though I anticipate them, plan for them and at times worry over them, they are not future concerns to God. They are simply part of what to God is a finished picture of my life. He knows the entire thing and is present for every single part of it. I can't know what tomorrow holds, but I know the God who is already present in my tomorrows. Psalm 139:7 says "Where can I go to escape your spirit? Where can I flee to escape your presence?" There is nowhere we can go that God is not already there. And listen to God's words in Jeremiah. "Do you people think that I am some local deity and not the transcendent God?" the Lord asks. "Do you really think anyone can hide himself where I cannot see him?" the Lord asks. "Do you not know that am everywhere?" the Lord asks. Isn't that beautiful? How often do I take God and limit him to one spot on a map? How often do we hear people pray, "Lord, please be with Susie in Mexico..." That's like me asking my son Nathan to be my son. He already is my son--that will never change. It's the same with God. He already is in Mexico, and Guinea and Papua and on the job site where my husband works. He is omnipresent. Everywhere. He is literally everywhere. I would never say I believe God only to be some local deity and yet so often my life reveals the true convictions of my heart. Today though, I choose to believe that the God who promises to "never leave thee nor forsake thee" is omnipresent. I choose to believe that the very God who made that promise is trustworthy. He is worthy of my belief and trust. God promised in Exodus 33;14 "My presence will go with you and I will give you rest." What an incredible foundation on which I have to stand. So, bring on the house plans...because we're diving in! Lord, may we all believe you are present. Your word says that in your presence there is fullness of joy--may we experience the joy that gives us strength as we practise living in your presence. Lord, thank you that you are trustworthy and that you have given me the promise of your presence.

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