Walking in Faith

Originally Published on Word for Today

"Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what He had promised."  Genesis 21:1

Sighing from the tips of my toes, I leaned my head on the seatback of the car. We were on our way out of town. If ever my family needed to leave town – and the mess and mayhem – it was now.

Less than a year ago, we were so thrilled for my husband to get a job at the university where we met. We couldn’t wait to get our children moved to our new town and start the life that the Lord had for us here. Little did we know that the Lord had us on a path of learning to trust that was hard to walk.

Six months after we moved in, 8 inches of muddy water flooded our home. I tried to ‘keep my chin up’ as my home went into demolition phase.  My belongings that weren’t destroyed by the flood were crammed willy-nilly into various and sundry places.  We moved into an apartment complex across town full of college students thoroughly enjoying summer vacation. 

Granted, we were thankful to have the apartment. There were none to be had in town since so many people were in the same situation. We were able to live in the apartment rent-free for a few weeks to hold it for a college student. She wouldn’t need the apartment for six weeks. Surely we could be back in our house by then, right?

Part of my husband’s job required travel, so many days it was just the three of us. I talked to the Lord often, and prayed to radiate Him through the loneliness and annoying circumstances. Besides annoying, floods can take as much toll on finances as a move. We were heading for financial crisis. I prayed to trust.

Now, we were getting out of town for a previously planned vacation to visit friends. But when we returned from our trip, we would have 4 days to find a place to live and get moved.

I have learned there is a very, very fine line between walking in faith and walking in denial. I was leaning WAY over on the denial side.

The kids were settled with books and music. I was happy for a moment to think of anything other than reality. My 6-year-old, however, found it the perfect opportunity to think of exactly that – and worry.

We had just passed the first red light out of the apartment complex when she spoke up, “We really need to find a place to live.” Oh, boy. I didn’t want to think about it, and I sure didn’t want to talk about, so I dreamed up an answer and tossed it back without opening my eyes, “Yes, we do, and God’s going to take care of it.”

I would love to tell you I believed that.
Brushing that statement away like an annoying mosquito, she continued, "Okay, but we really need a place to live!!"

Now I was exasperated and responded more sharply than necessary, "Did you hear me? Don't you think God will take care of it?"

She couldn't see how God could possibly relate to her immediate and pressing need of a place to live. "Well, no! It's our problem, not His!"

Trying to calm down, I realized how recently in my own faith I thought the same thing. I started again, calmly, to remind her (and myself), "We're God's children. In the same way that your problems are my problems, our problems are His problems. God is going to look out for us."

I wish I could tell you that we immediately pulled the car over to pray and petition God, or that moment a truck drove by that said "follow me to your new place to live." I wish I could even tell you that immediately she got it and was at peace. The truth was she muttered, "Okay" with the tone of "whatever", but I needed to hear my own words: "I am God's child. My problems are His problems. He will take care of my smallest needs."

The conversation dropped. The kids turned to their books and other car toys while my husband and I chatted about anything but the wreck that was our (lack of) living arrangement.

Twenty minutes later we were driving through Small Town, America (pop. 2831) when my husband's cell phone rang. It was one of the elders from our church telling us that a woman at our church was offering her parent's house for anyone who had been flooded and needed a place to live.

To this day, I don't know who that moment had a bigger impact on, me or my daughter. But I am so thankful that in the moment that her young faith needed something concrete and my not-so-young faith needed peace of heart, our loving Father gave us both.


Donna said...

I had to smile as I read today's post because it is where I find myself so often these days - learning to trust God. The last post I wrote was about the fine line between FACTS and FEAR; so when I read the part about the fine line between walking in faith and walking in denial, it really caught my eye. I amlearning to face the facts without fear and walk in faith - not ignoring what is staring me in the face, but not afraid of it either.
Thank you for such an encouraging post for this Friday morning. I will be thinking about it all day long!

Sarah S. said...

Thanks for your comment, Donna. It's something God is really bringing to my attention lately, too. Sometimes I find I THINK I'm walking in faith, but, no, I'm just depending on my self. It's the stepping out in blackness and being at peace -- THAT is faith. I'm learning and re-learning every day. Glad to have someone on my journey!

Roxanne Langley said...

Your new comment thingy didn't WANT me to comment the other day. :) I love this story. I love Ashley. I love you.

Sarah S. said...

Thank you for your patience and re-reply. I have my new commenty-thingy so that I can have more dialog with my lovely commenters like yourself. And say that Ashley and I love you in return...

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