A couple of years ago our family found ourselves mortgage-less and rent-less for almost 17 weeks, with no permanent residence.
Yet because of the incredible friends and framily that God placed in our path, we were welcomed into many of their homes for a week or so at a time, and we were never left without a place to stay. For a variety of reasons, finding a place to rent or buy was going to be nothing but a God thing, especially in our desired school district; but as only God can do, He wove together many pieces and relationships to get us into a house that has been just what we needed for this season. But can I be real honest for a moment?
Because we had moved so much without really settling during those 17 weeks, with our personal belongings at 5 different friends homes in 3 different counties, and John calling me on more than one occasion after “moving out” of one location, asking, "Where are we staying tonight?" I have still not settled into our current location even though we are marking almost 2 years here. And I am ok with that.
My childhood and early adulthood could be defined by “things.” “Things” and possessions always took precedence, and the appearance of our home was held much higher than the condition of our heart. If we looked good on the outside, and had all the right things, everything must be great on the inside, right? Not at all. One of the biggest things I learned during our transition time, was that the people in my life matter so much more than the things I possess. Please don’t misunderstand, I am very grateful for all that God has given us, but it has taken YEARS for me to un-do the focus on things and to transfer my focus to people, and there are days I still struggle with the right priority. But then there are the days I am sure, when I am so overcome with gratitude, that some of my closest friends get tired of hearing how grateful I am for them and how much I love them! So, as we mark the almost 2 year anniversary of moving into this home, and I look around to see so many things that aren’t how I would have them if we knew we were going to live here permanently, or when I think about the belongings we still haven't moved into the home but have forgotten or left behind, I really don’t feel settled. And while we are comfortable and safe, thankful for but not truly invested in this current property, it reminds me of what God has truly asked of us --
“For our citizenship is in Heaven, from which also we eagerly
wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
With all the uncertainty, the questions, the unrest, the lack of normality, during this season, we believers have been placed in a position to put all our Trust and Faith in Him, even if it doesn’t always make sense. I firmly believe this is how He has wanted it all along.
As I think about renting this home, and not being completely settled, I believe it is a perfect picture of how God has asked us as believers to live out our life here on earth. We are truly just passing through. We need to choose an eternal perspective. We are simply “renting” space here and our “rent” is to make His name famous to those that don’t know Him yet and to do our part to invest in the lives of those around us, to populate heaven, to share the Hope we have. Recently in a sermon our pastor said something that resonated deeply with me, he said “If we know Jesus, this is the worst it will ever get, but if we don’t know Jesus, this is the best it will ever get.” To have a feeling of restlessness here on earth for the greater days ahead -- I believe -- is a truly healthy feeling. We are invited to live everyday as if it were our last, to choose joy no matter the circumstance we are facing, to trust when there is seemingly no way out, to share hope with those around us at every opportunity, to choose to view our current circumstance as a rental tenant, to touch those with the life-giving message of a Savior who loves us so much He chose to die for us.
What an opportunity we have as believers, to live restless and slightly unsettled on this planet, while we rest in Him and be settled in His Promises, because the best is yet to come! If you don’t know Jesus or aren’t sure if you have a relationship with Him, I would love the opportunity to talk with you!