Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Noah, Abraham, and others who followed

Over the last few weeks we have been preparing our house to put on the market. The market here is "hot" right now and houses are selling quickly. They are also selling well above what we paid for our house seven years ago. But, there are projects to be done--walls to be painted, bathrooms to be tiled, trim to added, decluttering to be done.

We began with the projects as soon as school was out and our days were more free. We started with decluttering because I wanted to have a garage sale. We cleaned out quite a bit. Having a garage is both a blessing and curse. We tend to use the space to store things and pretty soon we've crowded out our car. We clean it out and park in it again (usually if bad weather is expected). But, it soon becomes filled with little things here and there. Once we started decluttering, we made a huge pile of "garage sale" items and then also began making a pile of things we could go ahead and pack up.

We had our garage sale. We did well. We sold a lot. We made enough that we could pay to have a few projects around the house done. I'm still trying to sell a few things online. But, it feels really good to be decluttered! Moving out some furniture pieces and boxing up some stuff has also helped to feel less cluttered.

Then we began the bigger tasks, like painting and fixing molding and picking out tile. I spent the last week painting our front living room. Joel painted the hallway and back living room. As I was painting the other day, it struck me that we are doing all this work and have no idea if we're really leaving let alone where we're going. Mind you, we have some options. After a phone call and email last week Joel is confident we are moving. I have to say I know we're moving too. But, the question still remains, "Where?"

We've visited one place we like very much. We like the church, the houses, the community, the location. We haven't visited the other two places. We will visit one in the coming weeks. We may get invited to visit the third.

But, as I was painting I thought to myself "this faith I'm exercising right now (because it has been a HUGE exercise of my faith muscles!) is the kind of faith that led Abraham to a land he didn't know." Abraham's faith should encourage me. He left everything in a time when people didn't do that! People move all the time now. It's not a big deal in our culture to move away from family or change jobs. It's not even unfamiliar to Joel and me. I moved across the country at age 10; Joel moved to Japan at 19 and then kept moving in the Marine Corp. Together we moved to a totally new town 6 weeks after we got married. Then we moved to Texas 5 years later. In many ways, I feel more like a nomad than someone really ever leaving "home". But, Abraham...Abraham risked it all. Abraham trusted God. Abraham had no idea where he was going. He walked with God step by step, day by day.

Noah also obeyed God despite understanding the directions. He began building an ark when no rain had ever fallen from the sky. What must his neighbors have thought as he built this gigantic wooden structure? The mocking, the ridicule, the questions, the doubters. Surely they were there to keep him company. But, it says "Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his time; Noah walked with God." (Gen. 6:9) Noah walked with God. That was said about Adam and Eve before the fall. God would walk with them in the cool of the day.

I know the presence of the Almighty. I know when I'm walking with Him and when I'm not. When I'm not, it's because something has captivated my attention and I walk away to explore it--much the way my children do when we're in a store and a shiny object looks alluring. When I'm walking with God, I have a calm reassurance that all will be well. I am reminded that He loves me, has a plan for my life, and cares for me. I am reminded that He is faithful, just, and merciful. I am reminded He is a good Father who delights to give His children good gifts. I am reminded that His ways are higher than mine and His timing is perfect. I can also look back on the years I've spent following Him and remember how He has guided me to various places. The stories are so fun to remember and retell.

Yes, I feel like Abraham who doesn't know where he's going. I feel like Noah preparing a house when there's been no rain. But, I'm not Abraham or Noah. I'm just called to walk in faith, looking to these godly men as examples and taking courage that God is doing something I just can't see yet.