Funny Thing #9
Joshua 1:9 ESV
Romans 8:28 ESV
When I was four years old we moved one street over to a new house my dad had a man build.
We could see our old house from our new house. My parents still lived in that same house when I got married. My Mom buried my dad when she lived in that same house forty years later.
I left that house when I got married.
That’s when the fun began.
We were ministry.
When I read this quote, I thought it was funny.
“From the ages of eight to 18, me and my family moved around a lot. Mostly we would just stretch, but occasionally one of us would actually get up to go to the fridge.”—Jarod Kintz
I didn’t laugh because I think moving is fun, or funny…but at the same time I don’t remember it being awful. We couldn’t afford to have movers so whenever we moved we just grabbed the boxes and packing stuff and we started filling boxes.
In preparation for writing about moving I asked my kids if I packed up their things or if they packed up their own things when we moved. It turns out, none of us could remember how the move happened. That’s really normal for me not to remember details, but not for them. My only conclusion was that when they were children moving probably wasn't a horrific event for them.
That turned out to be a good thing because as adults they’ve moved around a lot. Three of them moved because they either were military or are still military.
Another moved several times because of business changes; mostly brought about because of business promotions.
The thing about moving that is weird is that while I’m doing it (packing and purging) I hate it, but when it’s all done I don’t remember it as being awful.
I tend to think it’s possible that God is gracious and helps me to resolve my “angst”.
I do know that in Joshua 1:9 we are told, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Over the course of my life when changes come, I’ve experienced a tension. It’s like a push-pull experience.
While I’m sad to leave my dwelling, my job, my friends, and my neighbors, I also experience a miraculous HOPE that emerges.
I am sad, but at the same time I am very excited about what God has in store for me at my next stop. It’s really quite strange.
My mom has only moved a few times as an adult. From 1950 until 1990 she moved two times. The funny thing is that she says she absolutely hates moving.
So, does moving less make us hate moving more?
I know…that’s rhetorical.
In my case, I can only speak to what moving more has done for me. I always remember the Apostle Paul’s words in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.“
I love God. I am called according to God’s purpose. God has worked all things for good in my life.
Every time I’ve moved I knew I was moving forward toward a plan God has for me.
I didn’t usually want to move, but at the same time I knew God had a purpose for the move and because of that God would work out all the kinks.
Along the way when I would get tired or discouraged, I remembered Joshua’s words in Joshua 1:9 and I would repeat those words as many time as I needed to hear them.
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened or dismayed (upset or worried).
God is with me wherever I go.
Those words were spoken to Joshua at a time when Israel was undergoing a great change. Moses had been their leader since they left Egypt. Now the promised land was in sight. Everything they had hoped for and waited for was before them.
But the leader they had relied on, the leader who spoke to God was gone. Moses would not enter the promise land with them.
Realistically, it would seem like this was not a great time to change leadership, but God did have a plan.
God knew Joshua was prepared to take them into battle to claim what God had for them.
God knew exactly what was needed.
I think that’s why every time I’ve moved I am reminded of the words Joshua spoke. God knows exactly where I’ve been and has prepared me for where I’m going. There are no mistakes. God planned every step.
And so it is with you.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened or worried.
God is with you wherever you go. Every step is planned. The Spirit of the living God goes before you and angels guard you on every side.
God has everything covered.
Spiritual Practice: Take Courage
KNOW the Spirit of God surrounds you and Angels guard you. Repeat the words to Joshua 1:9 to yourself as many times as it takes to keep it in your heart and mind.
In God, Deborah