Wednesday, September 8, 2010
When things aren't what they appear
I begin every day on my knees. No, I don't have a hard time getting out of bed and no, I am not looking for my slippers. I am doing battle.
Over the years, I have come to believe that life is one battle after another. Some battles are physical, like cancer or a traumatic injury, but most battles are spiritual. The wars I wage daily are not against flesh and blood but against powers and principalities.
When I was a little girl I worshiped the God of my Fathers. When I grew older, God called MY name. No longer did I see God through my fathers eyes, but as MY own Savior and the Rock of my Salvation. But, when God called my name, it was just the beginning of the journey, not the destination.
As a baby Christian, God carried me through each day. He led me gently beside still waters and ministered to my soul. He gave me an excitement and a passion for His word. As I matured, things got tougher. He began to teach me His ways and I learned that His ways are often not my ways.
When Sir Knight and I decided to leave the Seattle area and move to the Idaho Outback, we found the perfect property. It was everything we had ever wanted. It was a log home on 50 acres at the end of a dead end road. It had two ponds, a 50 gallon per minute well, a barn and views that just wouldn't quit. It was literally picture perfect. I prayed over that house. I knew it was ours. We were meant to raise our family there. We put earnest money down, used our house in Seattle to secure financing and were well on our way to our dream life. We packed up all of our worldly possessions, rented our Seattle house, put all of our things in storage and moved in with my folks, just until we signed the papers. Three days before Christmas, the "dream house" was to become our reality. We drove to Seattle to sign the papers and wham - the financing fell through. Just like that, our dream evaporated.
We ended up in a dumpy rental (across from a drug house) for about six months and finally ended up buying a house in a town just north of Coeur d'Alene. It met none of the criteria we had wanted in a house, and to tell you the truth, I have no idea why we bought it, but we did. It was a life-changing event. The house itself was nothing special, but God knew what He was doing when He put us there. He was changing the course of not just our lives, but our childrens' lives and many lives of those around us. It was in this house that God called Sir Knight's name. It was in this house that I quit work and stayed home with my children. It was in this house that I began homeschooling, homesteading and seeking to become a Proverbs 31 woman. It was in this house that I learned to love my husband and my children.
What originally had been a tragedy became one of our greatest blessings. God knew that our "dream house" would have financially bled us dry. He knew that I would have had to keep working to afford it. He knew that He was going to call Sir Knight and that the people that he would use were not near our "dream house" but were near this house that met none of "our" criteria. God knew.
Years later, when Master Hand Grenade was in the NICU and the doctor told us to say goodbye to our 8 day old son, my newly Christian husband thanked God for the days we had had with our precious child. He thanked Him and gave our tiny son back into the hands of a loving God. The God who sees the beginning from the end, knew that we needed the people he surrounded us with in our "not dream home" to pray and to lead and to hold us up. God did not take Master Hand Grenade that day, but instead gave him the gift of life, and us the gift of faith. God had a perfect plan.
When our beautiful daughter Chase was born still, God surrounded us with His servants that had walked this walk before we did. He carried us through the valley of the shadow of death and gave us a glimpse of eternal life. Many years later, he gave us the privilege of walking through the valley with our dear friends. What seemed to be a tragedy was indeed a great blessing. It allowed us to minister to other children of God and show them His great mercy and faithfulness.
So many things in our life don't go the way we think they should. Disappointment follows disappointment. Generators break down, animals die, cars break, jobs are lost and children are sick, but through it all, God is faithful.
I'm sorry to say that I don't trust God easily. I fight. I yell. I cry. But over and over, God gently says "Trust Me, I've got your six. I will fight the fights. The battle is mine."
And so, I start my days on my knees. I praise on my knees. I weep on my knees. I plead on my knees. And over and over again, God reminds me that "things aren't what they appear".