It’s certainly been awhile since I posted my last blog God of the Burning Bush.
Why? Well I’ve got tons of excuses.
But the bottom line is that for the past months I’ve been very discombobulated. There’s been no normalcy. It’s like I’ve been placed into a sizzling hot frying pan.
However, this frying pan doesn’t always remain sizzling hot. Instead it gets hot and then cold, and then hot again – kind of like the electric stovetop I’ve been trying to learn how to cook on lately. One minute my food’s about ready to burn, then the next minute the heat flicks off – just to flick back on a couple seconds later!
Okay, I need to explain a little bit…
Back in September my husband retired. And, because both his sister and our son have health issues, we felt led by the Lord to pack up, sell our home in Texas, and move to Arizona to see how we could help them out. But that wasn’t the only reason. We’ve always loved Arizona, and had talked about moving there someday.
So the Journey Began
The housing market was hot in Texas when we made our decision to move, and it only took a couple weeks for our house to sell. Our plan was to have a moving company come and put most of our stuff into storage until we were able to find a home in Arizona. How long would we store it? Six months, top.
We found a furnished rental house, and signed a 6-month lease. That gave us plenty of time to look around for the perfect home.
What was the “perfect home” for me? Well, about 1 acre of property, a private backyard, and maybe a small swimming pool. That wasn’t asking too much, was it?
Anyway the movers came, and our furniture left us. We stayed in a nearby hotel for a few days until the closing date.
Everything closed without a hitch; and we began the journey to Arizona with our 2 cars loaded with everything we felt we would need for a 6-month stay. We had no issues in our travels, and arrived safely in Arizona a few days later.
Perfect! So far everything was going as planned.
But as we know, God often doesn’t follow our plans…
Because after arriving in Arizona, we discovered many things:
- The housing market is ridiculously high priced – so high that finding a home near our son or my husband’s sister was not going to happen.
- Further, my sister-in-law has dementia, and it’s a lot worse than we expected. Tough decisions need to be made soon, which has caused a lot of stress and anxiety for my husband.
- Then, our son who we were so excited to live closer to, has decided he really doesn’t want us to spend anytime with him.
Stepping Back in Contemplation
Taking a break here, I’m reminded of so many in the Bible whose personal plans also turned out totally different than what they expected. And I certainly have no cause to complain when I think of all they had to go through in their walks with God!
- Joseph: I’m certain he never believed he would be thrown into a dry empty well, sold to Egypt as a slave, and then end up in prison for years!
- David: After being anointed as the next king of Israel, had to run for his life on more than one occasion, hiding in rocks and caves.
- Daniel: He was such a godly man, always doing what he felt God wanted him to do. Then he finds himself arrested and thrown into a lion’s den.
- Jeremiah: He said “yes” to being God’s mouthpiece in calling Israel to repentance. But then was ridiculed, cursed and tortured by his own people.
This list could certainly go on and on. So who am I to think that all my well-laid-out-plans for our move to Arizona would all come together so very perfectly? After all, had we not been praying for direction from our Heavenly Father, and His guidance all during our recent move?
Are not His plans and His work more important than mine?
Yes, Lord, yes!
Well we finally purchased a small plot of land up in the foothills about 1 hour north of Phoenix, and are having a little house built. Certainly no acre lot – and no room for a swimming pool. But at least we have a private backyard!
However now come issues that have had us questioning ourselves frequently. Our house will probably not be completed until the end of the year. Because of the housing craziness here in beautiful Arizona, building suppliers are having trouble keeping enough stock. We were even told by the construction manager that we should probably start looking for a refrigerator soon as sometimes it can take a couple months to get them in!
Plus, the agreement on our rental home was only for 6 months, and even though the owners have been kind enough to extend our lease for an 2 extra months, that still means we’ll have to find someplace else to stay until our house is completed.
And then, we’re looking at the extra expense involved for the moving company to store our furniture longer than anticipated!
So this is why I’ve been feeling like I’m in a hot frying pan sometimes. Between family issues and housing schedules there’s no even flow right now in my life. My brain gets overloaded thinking about too much “stuff.”
Am I going to be able to keep my sanity?
God Opens Our Eyes
As my husband and I were out taking a walk the other day, we both admitted to each other that there were times in the past couple of months where we’ve said to ourselves, “Why didn’t we stay in Texas?” We’d remember how everything there was all put together in a neat little box. We were organized. Our home was paid for, we were members of a great church, and had super friends.
But then the Lord spoke to me one morning, gently and lovingly – yet firmly. He reminded me that our complaining was kind of like the Israelites during the Exodus. They used to whine, “Why did we leave Egypt? We had so much good stuff there!” Of course they had conveniently forgotten they were slaves in Egypt. They had forgotten God’s great plans for them – He was bringing them into the Promised Land!
As I shared this with my husband, let me just say this jolted our priorities back into focus. Why were we whining? Yes, things were nice in Texas, but they weren’t perfect!
And by the way, hadn’t we always wanted to retire in Arizona?
Also, why weren’t we remembering that none of what we were going through had caught our Father by surprise?
So just what does the future hold? Well I know One Person who knows – my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He’s going to provide for us what we need every step of the way, because that’s what He promises (Jeremiah 29:11).
Do we really think it was a mistake we ended up having to buy a home in the foothills – or is this instead going to be a huge blessing that the Lord is providing for us?
Why in the world do I always start looking at the negative instead of the positive? Just writing this reminds me of so many times the Lord has come through in amazing ways in our lives – especially with our special needs son Jeffrey (Who’s Your Daddy).
The Bottom Line
Over and over I need to remind myself to be thankful to my Heavenly Father for His never-ending love and grace to me. He knows us humans are but dust (Ps. 103:14). He gave us freewill to make decisions; but sometimes we get off-kilter in our thinking. I know for me, I often think “I” know what’s best, instead of God.
But God will always steer us back to the right path – if we’re willing to listen! Here’s some great verses to remind us of His faithfulness and wisdom:
- Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but the Lord’s purpose prevails (Prov. 19:21).
- Humans plan their course, but the Lord directs their steps (Prov. 16:9).
- Be still and know I am God (Ps. 46:10).
In closing, take a minute. Have you stepped away from God’s course? Have you been finding yourself running around in circles like I have in the recent months?
Just remember: It’s okay! If Jesus is your Lord and Savior, He has you by the hand, and will not let you go! So get back on track, and watch just what God will do next.