Once again, I find myself in the middle of transition. I know it is part of life living overseas, but it is not my favorite part. Maybe it is all the packing or the good-byes and the tears, but I think it is something more. What really bothers me is that God just doesn’t put out the entire plan for us. It’s like he gives my husband and I a package. We tear into it like a two-year old at a birthday party. We turn the box over and over wondering what’s inside. We open it to find puzzle pieces, but no picture to show us what the puzzle actually looks like.
After some blank stares we dive into it. Who doesn’t like a challenge? Some pieces fit nicely and excitement grows. We high-five each other – another adventure to put on our belt. Then when we’ve exhausted ourselves and can’t find any of the other 978 pieces to fit we sigh and maybe even begin to question if we got the right box. Isn’t it funny how we can go from confident to doubting so quickly?
Can any of you relate?
As the date of departure speeds up at an alarming rate the picture seems to come together, yet there are still some puzzle pieces missing, and they seem like pretty BIG pieces to me.
At the time of writing this, we are to move to a new city in about a month – but we have NO housing. We spent a week at the new location and thought we had found a place, but no. My husband went back for a weekend looking with the same result. Am I nervous? Okay maybe a little, but we’ve been here before. Let me back up…
Four years ago, my husband resigned as the principal to a Christian school in Taiwan to work for the nonprofit we helped start. It was a huge decision, which is a story all in itself – but we had one month left on our apartment contract. One month led to two weeks, which led to one week, which led to two days. YES, 2 DAYS with still no home to move to. I had visions of the five of us huddled under a cardboard box in the rain. Okay, we did have friends offer for us to live with them temporarily, but I still felt a little frantic. Then like a miracle there was a phone call. It seemed like God was holding that one HUGE puzzle piece smiling, waiting to amaze us. And amazed we were. It was the perfect home for that time in our life.
Flash forward two years. Another move which pretty much was the same story. Though, not quite as tight as two days, but it was within a few weeks before we found a place.
So, I’ve been down this road before: God hands us a jigsaw puzzle with no picture and waits until the last minute to give us the housing piece. Yet, from my past experiences with God and his Word I can trust him to provide exactly what is needed at the right time. That little phrase that I bolded is never when I think is the right time. No, it’s when God knows it is the right time. I find that His timing always challenges me to trust and obey him completely. Thanks, Patti for reminding me of that hymn!
I don’t always feel confident in not having all the puzzle pieces in order and put together. I’m sure I’m not alone. So here are some ways that I have used to help put a stop to my heart racing and the worry machine in my head start to turn on. First, I find passages in my Bible on God’s faithfulness and his character. It is a good reminder that God takes care of His people. Second, I remind myself how God has provided in the past. This only builds up my trust to know that God will provide in His time. Third, I turn on my music and praise Him for who He is. It takes my focus off myself and onto where it should be – Him.
Are you also in transition with a few major puzzle pieces missing? It doesn’t have to be housing, it could be a job, a team to do ministry with, or maybe even the ministry isn’t clearly defined. Whatever the puzzle piece(s) that are missing, you can be sure that God will provide.