Pulling Up Tent Stakes

Have many of you actually camped in a real tent?  Now I know if you’re like my husband, your chosen tent is a Holiday Inn, but I’m not talking about that!  I’m talking about an actual canvas shelter that’s usually assembled by first driving stakes into the ground.

I’d written previously about how when I was little we moved from Iowa to Seattle and ended up having to live in our tent in a State campground for a few weeks until dad got a job (Seattle, Here We Come!).  Well living in a tent on the hard ground can be kind of exciting for a 5 year-old, but it wasn’t always so fun for my parents who had to pound in the tent stakes.  Sometimes lots of rocks come into play…

How about when you get ready to leave your camping site – are pulling up the tent stakes that much easier?

I guess it depends on what type of tent you’re talking about.

god's plansBecause your tent can also be your home.  And your home is usually a place where you feel safe and secure, and you’re surrounded by family and friends.

A few months ago I wrote briefly about when Gary and I had been feeling like major changes were coming, and the Lord had reminded us both of the patriarch Abraham (God, Do You Really Care?), whom God told one day to pack up and leave his familiar territory and move to a land that would be revealed later (Genesis 12:1).

When Gary and I compared notes at that time we felt like we were ready to go, so we kept trying to pull up our tent stakes.  But the stakes wouldn’t budge until almost 3 years later!

Why?  Because that was when God decided the time was right, and then He started opening the doors.  But not quite in the way we were expecting…

It started happening when the owner of the facility where Gary had been working finally decided that he was going to close-down the Seattle shop, as business had been dropping.  He was only going to keep open his manufacturing plant in Portland, Oregon.

Gary had mentioned previously to him about how we wanted to move to Bend, Oregon, and asked about the possibility of working for him from that location.  The owner had come back and said “no.”  So now basically Gary was learning he was going to be out of a job soon.

second thoughtsHmmmm – this was definitely a bummer.  We had been really sure that this whole plan was going to work out.  What were we supposed to do now?  Stay in the Seattle area, or just put our house on the market and move to Bend blindly, trusting that God would provide?

As we continued to pray we kept getting confirmation that we should move.  As a matter of fact, one dear lady that I trusted said it sounded like God was asking us to “pull up the tent stakes such as Abraham did” and move blindly forward.

WHOA – there’s that “Abraham” thing again!

We continued to pray, and kept feeling that God was asking us, Do you really trust Me?

Gary and I believed, and trusted that our Great Provider would bring another job to Gary just when we needed it.  And yes, a lot of people really did think we were crazy.

So we moved forward, put our house on the market, and it ended up selling in 12 days!

And then when Gary’s boss heard that we had actually decided to move to Bend regardless of Gary having a job, he changed his mind and decided to keep Gary on the payroll after all to cover the Oregon market – WOW!

Ah, the many mysteries of God.  Through this whole ordeal I felt like the Lord kept reminding me of Matthew 6:34:

Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.

It’s easy to get caught off guard, and all of a sudden when things don’t go as you think they’re supposed to you start to lose hope.  It’s like those times when you try to lift up on the tent stakes, and the stake decides it’s not going to pull out.  But you don’t give up – because it’s your tent!

So now we were ready to start a new adventure.  However there were still a lot of roadblocks that came before we finally got there, where we found ourselves saying, Huh, Lord – now what?

Yes, I’m starting another short story – more to come!

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