Hebrews 11:8-12 8 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. 9 And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. 10 Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed[a] that God would keep his promise. 12 And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them.
These passages have to resonate with anyone who has ever left home. I’m not talking about moving to a new neighborhood or across town. I’m talking about moving to a whole new area code to a place you may have visited but never lived. A place hundreds of miles from the place you called home. Indeed, home where everything is comfortable and close, and as the song says, where everybody knows your name.
Such a change can be daunting to say the least especially if children are involved. Our move to Texas in the winter of 1983 was such a challenge. It was a move built on a string of assumptions and promises that we were confident would all come together as drawn up. We would have to live with friends for a couple of weeks so we had to leave behind most of our belongings in storage until we could get settled and return for them. But according to our schedule that would not be long. Hardest was leaving family, friends, and familiarity.
Our first few weeks in Dallas were much more challenging than we anticipated. I had been virtually assured a job. The final hurdle was meeting with my new boss and getting set up in the system. But the Monday I was supposed to get this done there was an ice storm and the entire city shut down. No worries, right. Just a minor delay, stick with the plan. Not quite. This was the mother of all weather systems and for the next twelve days temperatures never got above freezing. It wreaked havoc on our plans and ripped our schedule to shreds. We had started out confident, pretty sure of things. But within a matter of days that confidence turn into very tight knots in our stomachs and we began to second guess ourselves.
I am more confident now in retrospect that we were a little too confident in our own plans and schedules and ultimately we were quickly shown how weak and fragile those plans really were. We came to that place where our move should have begun, the place where Abraham began; on our knees, in faith, surrendering everything to GOD. Our confidence came back but this time it was not vested in our planning and scheduling. There would be more cold days and ice storms ahead, but no more stomach knots. We had learned yet again that our move was best left to the ONE that birthed an entire nation out an old guy as good as dead.
Great FATHER of the universe, how fragile we are in the face of your immense power that water and wind can completely devastate us. Remind us that all things start and end with YOU. Remind us that YOUR love, grace, and protection are inexhaustible and always available through faith. In CHRIST name we pray. Amen