2 months ago, I wrote about how we were in the midst of a long valley, here. What I didn’t tell you was what it was. We had recently moved cross country with kids, cars and things. The kids came with us (obviously! 🙂 ), the cars came in a few days. Our things. Well.. that’s another story. Within a few days of moving to the new city, my husband’s job, which had been all set up , before we came, decided to postpone his start date. So we asked our movers to keep our things in storage. And we got some airbeds and comforters to sleep on. We bought a table and a few mismatched chairs from Goodwill. We gave our new apartment notice, in light of the job being delayed. They graciously allowed us to stay out the month. At the end of the month, the job was delayed again. We asked the apartment again, but they asked us to vacate since they had a potential tenant lined up. With the things we had , and the ones that came with the cars, (and our kids too!) We moved to a hotel. We managed to find a place , that renting a larger suite ( with a kitchen and a sitting room ) was not expensive. ( By this time we had had no income for over 2 months and every thing was going on the card) .
We had no income, no insurance , we stayed in a hotel, but… .. We had God. He was faithful. We had His peace ( He does say ” His peace He’ll give us, not like the world, so we’re not to let our hearts be troubled, nor are we to be anxious. John 14:27) . We were in His presence (He has said that He’ll never leave us nor forsake us 1 Kings 8:57). We were surrounded by His family, His children. This time was the most time Raj and I got to spend with each other in our 7 year marriage. He had always been working crazy hours , with 70-80 hour work weeks being the norm. So during the 2-3 month period that he wasn’t working, we went out to parks, to malls and to churches. The other 2 cities that we stayed in, we went to one church, loved it and stayed with that church for the 3 years we lived there. Here , with uncertainty looming, we decided to fill our thoughts, our time and ourselves with God. And we needed help. We couldn’t do it ourselves. We were unhappy, sad, anxious, and worried. Sometimes we were kind to each other and encouraged the other. Mostly we sniped at each other, expecting the other to understand what made us feel down and exhausted. So…. we went to churches. We went to Legacy on Tuesday evening, Calvary on Wednesday evening, Calvary or Copper Pointe on Saturday evening, and for Sunday morning, we went to International Christian Fellowship and then followed by Copper Pointe! Not that we were confused then, but we realized that with all these churches, when we needed it, the worship and/or the sermon spoke to us. We heard several messages about being in the middle of storms ( different pastors, different churches), we heard about not comparing ourselves to others, their jobs, their homes, their relationships, their lifestyles , since we don’t know what happens behind closed doors ( boy did I need to hear that! I wanted what that husband did for his wife, or that home, or that job!) , we heard about God’s faithfulness, His goodness, His sovereignty and His testing ( different pastors, different churches), we heard about trusting His promises, about doubling down and reading His word, praying more , staying in His presence when it feels like we’re far from Him, because there’s likely a spiritual battle going on. If you have goosebumps reading this, give praise to Him. He took us to where we needed to be, to be most encouraged in Him. Most of these pastors were in the middle of/starting a series that they had planned in advance to do, but for us , it was exactly the right time. God isn’t a God that can be taken by surprise. He planned out our way while we stumbled and staggered. In all these churches , He bought godly men and women who encouraged us, who heard us out, who prayed for and with us, and who have become our family . He is good, all the time. And all the time, He is good.
I recently came across this psalm, and this is beautiful. He has brought me to a place of abundance.
1.Shout for joy to God, all the earth! 2. Sing the glory of his name;make his praise glorious. 3.Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds!So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. 4. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you,they sing the praises of your name.’ 5. Come and see what God has done,his awesome deeds for mankind! 6.He turned the sea into dry land,they passed through the waters on foot –come, let us rejoice in him. 7.He rules for ever by his power,his eyes watch the nations –let not the rebellious rise up against him.
8.Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; 9.he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. 10. For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. 11.You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. 12.You let people ride over our heads;we went through fire and water,but you brought us to a place of abundance
. 13.I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfil my vows to you – 14. vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. 15. I will sacrifice fat animals to you and an offering of rams;I will offer bulls and goats. 16. Come and hear, all you who fear God;let me tell you what he has done for me. 17. I cried out to him with my mouth;his praise was on my tongue.18. If I had cherished sin in my heart,the Lord would not have listened; 19.but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. 20.Praise be to God,who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! – Psalm 66:1-20 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm66:1-20&version=NIV
8.Praise our God, all peoples,let the sound of his praise be heard; 9.he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.10. For you, God, tested us;you refined us like silver. 11.You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. 12.You let people ride over our heads;we went through fire and water,but you brought us to a place of abundance
God isn’t a God that can be taken by surprise. He planned out our way while we stumbled and staggered.
We still go to all those churches now, every week. They were there when we needed them. And the need is still here. We still need to be reminded of His faithfulness, His provision, even in our place of abundance.
Oh! Raj’s employers allowed him to start work at the end of August. We have insurance now. The kids are in school and are loving it. And we moved into a 2 BD apartment, and have mostly unpacked the boxes. ( we’ve lived in apartments all our married lives). This is our place of wealth, of joy, of gratitude, of being made whole in Him.
I have no idea where He plans to take me, but I’ll( try to) follow Him, obediently and joyfully . I know He always will make things right. And he’ll never leave me. His plans are so different from mine. His paths take me through sorrow and trouble , but always for His glory. I’ll never chose His path by myself, for myself, but I’ve always seen His hand through it ( in hindsight I should admit!). The comfort He has given me, I have always been able to share with others ( He has brought people into my life, or situations, where I can understand because I went through it, and so offer hope and comfort). So while we are still coming out of our valley, I’ll look at how far He has bought us, and remember He knows what He’s doing, where I need to go, what I need to accomplish , and how to get there. For now it’s enough for me to be grateful for where I am.