Have you ever felt yourself stretched so far it actually hurt? These last three months have taught me a great deal about stretching, the pain and the challenge it brings as well as the capacity it creates. Often times we find ourselves squeezed into a narrow place without the ability to see how and where the road widens. We are being squeezed and stretched.
I found these words when I was cleaning up notes on my phone this week. I wrote them two year ago when I had broken my arm. I was shocked because I could have written them today. I thought I was stretched then, and I suppose I was but these last few months brought the exact same words to mind.
Yesterday my very good friend asked how I would theologically explain our present situation. She knew we believed we had heard God when we decided to sell our beautiful home and join our boys in Bend Oregon. Yet here we are putting our things in storage with no home in sight. Was this the Lord’s will or not? She of course verbalized what I have asked myself many times over the last 8 weeks. The market in Bend caught on fire. Homes have multiple offers, many going far above asking. We have bid on 6 to date without success. God what has happened? This is not at all what I had envisioned or dreamed of.
Of course I had questioned myself and God. Had gotten my directions scrambled? I may have but the Holy Spirit was quick to remind me of something I heard Jerry Dirmann teach years ago regarding what could be an erroneous decision. Even if we have made a mistake, God is bigger than our mistakes. With that statement he removed the lie the enemy was quick to plant, that I had missed it and things would never be right. Jerry shared that God can make even our mistakes work out for good for us, He loves us that much and He is that big….
As I was praying about this odd turn in the road I had envisioned traveling, the Lord reminded of a few curves that Joesph hit on the way to Gods ultimate destination for him. From a young age Joseph believed God had destined him for greatness. In dreams God assured him he would rise to a position of leadership over his parents and brothers. (Gen 37:5-11). Yet Joseph hit a few bumps along the way. His brothers threw him into a hole abandoning him, he was unjustly accused and thrown into prison, all this before he finally found himself where God had always intended for him to be. We all know that God had much to accomplish in his life before he was ready for the incredible responsibility He had in mind for Joseph. I believe he was incredibly stretched, yet we know that he grew in the faith, patience and wisdom that would be required in the position and place God had ordained.
I have had many days where I have failed miserably in my faith but ultimately recover because I am convinced that God is faithful. All of His promises are Yes and Amen. Period.
During this season of uncertainty I have camped out in a few passages and Psalm 34 has become a favorite and I pray it will encourage you as well should you ever hit a curve in the road. .
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
The humble and downtrodden will hear it and rejoice.
O [a]magnify the Lord with me,
And let us lift up His name together.
I sought the Lord [on the authority of His word], and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant;
Their faces will never blush in shame or confusion.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
And saved him from all his troubles.
The [b]angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him [with awe-inspired reverence and worship Him with obedience],
And He rescues [each of] them.
O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good;
How blessed [fortunate, prosperous, and favored by God] is the man who takes refuge in Him.
O [reverently] fear the Lord, you His saints (believers, holy ones);
For to those who fear Him there is no want.
The young lions lack [food] and grow hungry,
But they who seek the Lord will not lack any good thing.
Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you to fear the Lord [with awe-inspired reverence and worship Him with obedience].
Who is the man who desires life
And loves many days, that he may see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
And your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn away from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous [those with moral courage and spiritual integrity] And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the memory of them from the earth.
When the righteous cry [for help], the Lord hears
And rescues them from all their distress and troubles.
The Lord is near to the heartbroken
And He saves those who are crushed in spirit (contrite in heart, truly sorry for their sin).
Many hardships and perplexing circumstances confront the righteous,
But the Lord rescues him from them all.
He keeps all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
Evil will cause the death of the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous will be held guilty and will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.
So the Lord has provided through our dear friends a beautiful lake home here at Lake Almanor until God shows us our new one in Bend. I continue to do my best to find the home He has hidden for us and will rejoice regardless of these crazy circumstances. My capacity to wait has been increased as has my prayer life!
So how do I explain the curve in the road? I cannot. All I know is that God is a good good God. He is still Jehovah Jireh and He will provide. He promised.