June 25, 2012

One step at a time

Early this morning, I went out on our covered deck, enjoying the cool air. As I stepped back inside and thought about what the day will bring, a question rose up in my heart. Why are we doing this? Why are we packing up and moving?
Only a few weeks ago, moving was a remote idea. We had looked at other places to live without any “This is the one” thoughts. Then my husband said we should go look again at this one we’d seen before. It was still under construction, close to being finished. This time, we both knew moving was the right thing, even something that God was directing. We understand our need to downsize and to get away from yard work. I’m okay with that, but this morning I was thinking how much we like our current location. Moving from something comfortable and familiar raised the “why” questions. 

Today’s devotional reading is based on a verse from the book of Acts. It talks about God’s hand in the activities of His people, and He uses this verse and the reading to answer my question.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” (Acts 13:2)
Frances Ridley Havergal writes how we can be happily settled in a “nice little quiet, shady corner in the vineyard, down among the tender grapes” with easy weeding and watering. Then the Master comes and draws into new work, into a part of the field where we never thought of going. He may put larger or different tools into our hands. He may ask us to do more work, giving new assignments that seem much too difficult. We know we are not sufficient for this. Even the tools seem too heavy, the glare too dazzling, and the vines too tall. 

But will we go back to the old comforts? No, because we are aware He would not be in that shady corner with us. When the Lord sends us forth, He goes before us. It is only by closely following that we can continue to abide with Him.

The physical part of moving is never easy. Downsizing adds to the challenge. However, having the sense that God is in this and that He has purpose for it makes those challenges easier. As He goes before us, He takes small steps that allow us to keep up with Him. He is not urging me to go faster than I can go.

These thoughts also remind me that as I go into this day, this week, this move, I need to think only to the next thing. If I let the entire task of relocating occupy my mind, I’m overwhelmed. It is too much for me. Yet Jesus is not pushing me to do it all at once. He takes one step at a time. I only need to keep in step with Him. 

Lord, this move is difficult in that we are moving from the home we have lived in the longest. This “nice little quiet, shady corner of the vineyard” has become comfortable. Yet You have something else, a new thing, in mind for us and are drawing us out of the familiar and away from this comfort. You will not reveal Your full plan, but You do give us steps to take, and for good reason — I could not handle the full plan. Thank You for this encouragement to get on with the tasks for this day, one step at a time.

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