I put it out by the curb, this perfectly good moving box. I tried to throw it away but I couldn’t. I took about two steps away from it and then turned and retrieved it and put it back on the shelf. If I had left it out on the curb, that would have meant I was totally committed to six more years here until my retirement. This way, I have a small hope that it will happen sooner.
Sometimes we hold onto something small because it represents something bigger.
The box represents a dream. Of moving back to my hometown. A place of permanence. No more moving. Of spending some good years with my folks before they pass on….of building a relationship with my 7 year old niece, of being a real Auntie instead of a bit player in her life. Of buying a little home with a shelf for African violets, and maybe a garden.
Around the time I thought maybe I heard the call to go back, my home was sold at an unbelievable price, right before the bottom dropped out. God sold that home, not the realtor. Then things happened that made thinking of a move more difficult. The economy took a dive. California, my home state, is now in financial ruin. Everyday I hear the reports of friends there who have lost their jobs. And my job is secure, I have great benefits.
When I started with this company I never dreamed that God would place me in the job I have now. He literally placed me here, of that I have no doubt. I have no college degree, and yet He has given me success here for fourteen years!
Even so, for about 7 years now I have felt like one of the virgins with the lamp stand, ready for the knock at the door. I thought I heard the Bridegroom coming, several times. Maybe I did, and maybe I ignored Him. I get these thoughts:
But if he got me this job, couldn’t He get me another? Is my faith too weak? Is my God too small? Has my job become my god? All these questions run around in my head and I know God is tired of them, I know I am.
I wonder, did I miss the window of opportunity? Did I get the timing wrong? Did I not recognize His voice? Does that mean that He has balled up the master plan and thrown it into the throne fire? No more chances for me? Or is there a possibility that this is all part of the plan itself and I am right where He wants me to be for now? Are you tired, because I sure am.
Softly His voice speaks to my heart, “As I was with the Israelites in the desert so am I with you. I led them with my Presence as I will continue to lead you. I love you with an everlasting love that will never cease and nothing will ever change that.”
Maybe you feel like you missed a window of opportunity. Maybe it was a big one. God was not surprised by that. He is an expert at creating new windows.
“To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue. All a man’s ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:1-3
God cares about our dreams, and longs to give us the desires of our heart. Right now the desire of my heart, even more than my dream is Him. His ways, His path is what matters most. It is the only sure place to step. So I will keep walking, keep lighting the lamp of His word. Keep praying. He has given me tremendous peace at times when I least expected it. And He will do the same for you.
Was there ever a time when you feel like you missed His plan? Did He work it out for good anyway?
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9