“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” Matthew 6:25
We (my family and I) are in a transition. Some major things have been changing and we are expecting them to continue to change for a while. We have some ideas of how they may change but since several of the things we thought were imminent last summer haven’t happened we are less certain now about where we are headed and how we will “get there.”
Looking back it could be said that I’ve been in transition for the past ten years but this transition for our family began in earnest about one year ago. I graduated from seminary and Robin took a leave of absence from her teaching job. We had some feelers out to several churches but nothing was happening. We believed that God was leading us, somewhere, and we prayed that we would be able to listen well and be obedient when his call became clear. We sincerely wanted, and continue to want, to know and follow God’s lead rather than just going off in the direction that we may think is best.
Last fall we took what seemed to be a larger “leap of faith,” by putting our house up for sale. It made logical sense, as we did need to sell our house should God call us away from Rochester, and in this market we had no idea how long it would take to sell.
After four weeks on the market and an unexpected turn of events we took our house off the market. That turned out to be a good decision, although at the risk, in our minds, of having our house for sale for a longer time when we did attempt to sell it again.
And while selling our house would be a major step, we had the blessing of knowing a friend with a vacant house we could rent in the interim. That seemed to fit well with the whole notion of being “in transition.”
So this past February we put our house back on the market, and it sold in less than one week! The quickness of the sale caused us to wonder if God was up to something that would soon become clearer to us.
And last week we moved into our “back-up plan,” the vacant house belonging to a good friend. We knew when the rental plan was first made that the house needed a bit of work, work that is still underway as I write this. But it is working out okay. We are all settling in. We are unpacking boxes and placing furniture, some of which will be moved again soon, as the work is completed inside the house. And perhaps moved yet again, as God makes his plans for us clearer.
I’ll be honest and admit that while we believe that God is up to something and that we are in transition, we have had moments of anxiety, moments when we wish that he would just make things clear for us, and make them clear now. Robin and I have each, in our own way, had moments of being tired of waiting for God to act and to clear up the particular unknowns about our life at this point in time. I was reminded of this again yesterday, as I was reading from the Sermon on the Mount and came to the verse at the start of this post.
In that verse Jesus invites us not to be anxious, for we are always in his hands. He knows everything about our current situation. He knows every need that we have. He is able to meet every one of our needs, and we can trust that he will meet them, in the timing that he knows is right.
Later on, in verse 33, Jesus points us to the place where our attention should be in anxious times, saying,
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”
I experience anxiety when my focus is on my own needs and concerns, rather than on my Lord and Savior. One year while I was in Community Bible Study we did a study of the Psalms and I memorized a verse that stays with me to this day. Psalm 143:8 says,
“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” (NIV)
In all the seasons of life, both those of transition and those of stability, our rest and peace, our purpose and the means to do it, will always be found in God.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.