It wasn’t my dream. It wasn’t my desire. There were sound reasons not to do it. Yet, one Sunday morning before church began, I felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
“You are not allowing God to answer your prayers. You pray for your husband to be the leader
of your home, but you want to control his leadership.”
I knew immediately why the Lord was rebuking me. My husband wanted a job transfer to the Carolinas. I had resisted and refused the open doors God gave him, preferring my own plans. I repented and within three months, we were setting up a home in the Carolinas–600 miles away from family and friends of a lifetime. For me, it became a journey to the Promised Land because God uses obedience to transform lives. He uses it to work in us and through us making all of life a mission field when we go forth in obedience to Him.
Throughout the heartache of saying good-bye and the challenges of selling a home in one state and buying in another, God put one special song in my heart:
“Freely, freely, you have received.
Freely, freely give.
Go in my name
and because you believe,
others will know that I live.”
I liked the ‘Freely Give’ part of the song…the ’Freely Receive’ part was an affront to my do-it-yourself nature. I preferred to keep a tight control on the details of life to limit needs to those “I” could manage. Raised by parents who grew up in the depression, the ethic of hard work surges through every fiber of my being. It is a good value; hard work pleases the Lord and is necessary. Work, though, is limited to the earthly realm. The work of the Lord has no such limits. God used to move to teach me about the glories of receiving His will!
Every journey to the Promised Land — to the land where Christ rules and reigns — demands faith in the goodness and power of God. Over and over again, God proved Himself willing and able to meet earthly needs with divine precision. Selling a home in the midst of a New York winter is about as ideal as planning to drive through the mountains in late January. Our ‘go’ included such lovely timing! In God’s inimitable way, our home sold within weeks at a higher price than we listed it. Our moving day was sunny and the roads were dry for the entire twelve hours! We found and purchased a home in a quaint, quiet country town outside of Charlotte for less than our sale price. God provided exactly the people we needed to help us adjust: a caring realtor who planned a birthday party for our teen the week we arrived, a contractor that took care of necessary repairs and a Christian family to love us. And He did it all with exquisite timing and attention to needs we never anticipated and did not have the resources to resolve if we had known of them!
As God provided blessings I could not produce through any amount of hard work, I began to see the beauty of receiving Him! He revealed Himself in ways that brought to life the principles I studied in His Word. Giving is contingent on receiving. Without an open-ness to the magnificence of God, all we can give is ourselves. The sorrow of saying good-bye to loved ones is an on-going grief. Yet it is a grief with glorious results. The common, eternal need we all share is receiving the knowledge that Jesus is alive! Going through life believing that God can and will provide all we need brings the presence of God into every life. The essence of ‘Go in my name’ requires us to receive Him, to live in Him and to share Him. “Go in my name…” is a concept usually tied to missionary service. Our move has taught me to live the broader reality that each life is lived on the mission field. Our obedience and faith are tools in the lives of others! My prayer is that our story will inspire you to trust Him more, to truly receive HIM–to go in His name and show others, He is alive!
For more thoughts on moving, you may enjoy this piece: Are you thinking of moving on?