More than ten years ago both of our children moved almost one thousand kilometers away.
We loved our family and missed the closeness we’d once enjoyed. My husband and I wanted to be able to spend more time with them and be active in their lives.
After much prayer, we decided to uproot the life we knew and start again, closer to our loved ones. The Lord provided a job for my husband in our chosen city. We resigned from our jobs and sold our home.
I was excited to know we ‘d soon live only twenty minutes from our family.
I hadn’t considered the difficulty of leaving friends and our church family. The goodbyes were tearful. Knowing we were doing the right thing didn’t make it any easier. I grieved what I would be leaving behind.
The transition had some challenges. The result, however, was more than worth it. We have been restored to a close, loving relationship with our family and are blessed to play an active role in their lives. The sacrifice we made out of love has rewarded us more than we could have imagined.
Our small move was insignificant when I think of the move Jesus made for you and for me. The love I have for my family is nothing compared to the love He has for us.
He knew we were becoming distant and longed for a closer relationship. The Lord knew there was only one course of action to be taken to remedy this situation.
He left his home in heaven and came to live on earth. He sacrificed not only comfort, but his very life in order to restore us to a relationship with God.
What does Jesus require for this love I don’t deserve? He wants us to spend time together. The more I do this, the deeper our relationship becomes. It is amazing to think the Son of God not only offers me forgiveness, comfort and guidance but wants to us have a close personal relationship. Now that is love worth celebrating.
Had we known earlier what was going to happen, our plans would have changed. We would have been prepared for the situation and not required as extensive a clean-up.
It was overcast and windy when we headed out in the morning to do some shopping in the city. Rain was in the forecast for early afternoon. This had been predicted for days and not materialized, so I gave it little thought.
We barely entered a store when a deafening noise overhead caused us to look outside. An intense tropical storm held us and many others captive.
Driving home an hour later was an adventure. We navigated through puddles the size of small ponds. The storm was obviously more intense than we’d realized.
Little did we know what still awaited us. We returned to find the strong wind had forced rain through the tracks on the window and the sliding patio door. Our tile floor had streams of water flowing under and around furniture through the living room, kitchen and eating area.
If we had known the storm was coming, we would have stayed home and been prepared to deal with the water as it started to enter. Since that wasn’t the case, we had to deal with the aftermath.
The situation brought to mind a parable Jesus told when asked about the timing of the Lord’s return. Since I don’t know the day or hour when Jesus will return, I need to ensure I’m ready. To do so I have confessed my sins, asked forgiveness, and entered into a close and personal relationship with Jesus, my Lord and Saviour. The preparations are made. I am ready.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know what day your Lord will come. If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have been alert and would not have let his house be broken into. So you must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect him.” (Matthew 24:42-44 NIV)
The image was quite striking. The concrete steps had what looked like a supporting frame on either side. Other than that, there was nothing attached to join these side pillars to anything else. The stairs were on an angle, tipped backwards into the sand. Abandoned.
I wondered what this scene had once looked like. Were these steps that led out to a world of adventure and later back to the safety and comfort of home? Did they watch children go over them to play on the beach? Maybe they welcomed guests to an outdoor patio gathering. There are many stories I could tell myself about what they had been. I have no way of knowing the real story.
Now they were a sad sight. They led to nowhere.
I could go over them and around them and still be basically in the same place. My steps would be wasted as they would lead nowhere.
This was a visual reminder of what can happen to me if I’m not careful. Without clear direction, my dreams of what life can look like remain only dreams. The plans I have for my life will not be fulfilled.
I think of times I’ve been disappointed when what I had worked towards did not bring about the results I’d hoped for. Sometimes I’ve abandoned my dreams the same way these stairs on the beach had been abandoned.
There is a better way. My direction needs to come from the Lord. I can make all of the plans I want but until I trust the Lord to determine my steps, they may be getting me nowhere.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NLT)
I have an opportunity that excites and terrifies me at the same time. It’s something I’ve been interested in for several years and keep saying, “Someday.” Recently an invitation was given for a specific date.
Talking brave is one thing; being brave is an entirely different matter. The time has come to make a decision. Either I go ahead or completely give up on this adventure. It’s like someone has called my bluff!
Conflicting thoughts compete for space in my mind. There is a possibility of harm. I’ve always erred on the side of caution. This has ensured safety but I wonder what the cost has been.
A song that I heard many years ago springs to mind. The words, “Everything in moderation, that’s the way it’s always been” are a good representation of my life. The lyrics go on to express a longing for more.
I wonder if I’ve played it safe for long enough. Maybe I need this adventure to take me farther out of my comfort zone than I’ve ever been.
Another song that comes to mind is Live Like You Were Dying. Currently I have my health. A physical examination with all the required tests was recently completed and no problems were found. At this point in time I have loved ones who are facing severe health issues. They are limited in activities I take for granted and wouldn’t be able to do what I’m considering even if they wanted to. I don’t want to look back with regret that I let fear rob me of an adventure I was capable of.
The other factor is money. There are far more practical uses for it. I remember a quote from Jim Rohn that says, “If you want something badly enough you’ll find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”
The pros and cons have now been weighed. It seems I’ve made my decision.
I’ll tell you all about it in my September newsletter! Watch for it on September 12th.
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