Yesterday’s post dealt with looking back at 2013. Today’s is about 2014 and beyond.
It was the perfect plan.
In late 2011, after 6.5 years in Cedar Rapids at a great church in a student ministry that I loved, I felt God calling me away to a new season of ministry. God wanted me in a ministry environment where we’d be ministering directly to families and helping equip them to be the primary spiritual leaders of children. Months of searching and near-misses led us to Naperville, Illinois.
“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money…””
I’d move to Naperville in advance as our two sons finished school. We’d put the house up for sale. Despite a lousy market, we’d sell it and break even. Taking advantage of said market, we’d buy a great new (-er) house. It would be awesome. We’d be in Naperville for at least 4 years as our youngest son completed high school.
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”
My plan? A cruel joke, a hoax played on myself. All those months of concern and frustration about a house that would never sell and eventually go into foreclosure.
So, we didn’t buy that fancy house that we truthfully could not afford.
In December of 2013, I’d leave my job. Before I found a new one.
What if I got what I had wanted? What if our house had sold and we bought that awesome new (-er) one? The situation with our youngest? It kills me. Breaks my heart. But, God knew about that too. And even now, He’s taking steps to be present to John 3.
God knows what today holds. And tomorrow. And next week, and the week after that. Even February.
I’m a mist. God, is not a mist. He has called me to be His. Regardless of the “good or troubles” that I’m in the midst of. And woe to me if I fail to know the Good I ought to do and not do it (James 4:17). My plans and schemes, the hope of wealth that I was looking to? Rotted and corroded (James 5:1-6). Like the farmer who’s planted a crop, I’m totally at the mercy of the one who is NOT a mist (James 5:7-12). My only response is to be patient, to stand firm, to pray (James 5:8, 13-20).
When we enter into this relationship with the God Who Is Not a Mist, we are guaranteed to experience both good and trouble. And it is in the midst of these experiences that He is revealed: His goodness, mercy, grace, His justice, His righteousness and ultimately, His reconciling work, a work that He began and will complete.
The is what it means to be reconciled to God. The old self dies. The new self rises with Christ.