Over the past few weeks I have been reading about Moses and how he led God’s people out of slavery in Egypt. Many times I have been struck by parallels between Moses’ journey and our search for houses….not that we are in slavery of course (though the rent feels like it sometimes!) but more in the way that God was in total control of the situation and its timing; and that Moses’ part was in obedience, in faith, even when the answer from Pharaoh was a constant ‘No’.
I remember back to a morning some weeks ago when I was about to go into my ‘body balance’ class. We had just re-submitted the previous offer on our ‘dream house’ which we would love to use, not just for our family, but to offer a sanctuary for young widows and other people who need a good rest and someone to look after them! It really is a house beyond our wildest dreams (with a price to match) and feels like such a big ask…
Anyway, Craig rang me to say the Estate Agent had just called and wanted to talk about our offer. My exercise class passed in a blur of wild hopeful imaginings and desperate praying – only to find after the class that our offer had been refused. Again. We felt so disappointed….That morning I had inadvertently deleted the email containing that day’s Bible study but found, when I got home, that it had been re-sent. God’s hand I think…It was all about the way Moses had to keep returning to Pharaoh, and each time Pharaoh said he could leave, God would harden his heart and he would change his mind again. And so it would all begin again for Moses, despite each disappointment. He kept on going back, though he must have felt hopeless and foolish. I was reminded, too, of the verse which says ‘The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord’ (Proverbs 21 : 1)– I’d been reading about that in Edith Schaeffer’s book L’Abri. Our house owner isn’t a tyrant slave owner or a king, but his heart is in God’s hands nonetheless and it was such a comfort to think that if God wanted us to buy the house, He could change decisions and minds to help us and make our way clear.
So, we are now a few weeks on. We still hold out hope for our dream house; we do now have another option which we are considering which would also suit us as a family, but as far as we can see wouldn’t easily allow us to welcome other people and look after them. We have felt for some time that this is what God would like us to do….so now it all comes down to timing. We constantly question whether we have heard God’s voice right, as I’m sure Moses did! Last week we re-offered on our dream house – after much reviewing of finances and wrangling with trusting God with our savings (or future lack of them!) we increased our offer a little – as much as we can. And the owners didn’t say no – they have asked for time to think it through, though it is much lower than they’d hoped. The waiting and praying and hoping and imagining continue.
I read this morning about the crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 14 : 9-31)
Forget the Hollywood recreations of the scene. It was the middle of the night, the darkness pierced only by the light from a pillar of cloud behind the Israelites (v 19). It was blowing a gale (v 21). The ground (as verse 25 implies) was probably muddy and pockmarked with pools of water. On either side were moving, unstable piles of water (v 22). It was scary, and not just because of their surroundings.
Israelites were scared of the sea. They saw it as dangerous and unstable, the haunt of sea monsters and the forces of chaos. Childhood phobias lurked at the back of their mind as they hurried through this fearful scene, conscious of the huge Egyptian army pursuing them from behind.
Can you, like me, remember scary times like this? Do you also remember the calming, constant presence of a loving God with you at such times?
From the beginning of time, God’s Spirit (often, as at Pentecost, identified with wind) has hovered (Genesis 1:2) over watery, chaotic darkness and transformed it into something beautiful and surprising. God is still willing and able to do that today.
‘Lord God, I give you my fears, my darkness and my chaos today. Please bring your creative light and Spirit into all of it and make it into something beautiful and productive for you.’
As I prayed through all of this on my morning dog walk (my favourite time for praying!) I was reminded of God’s perfect timing over our journey so far; of the verse ‘I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly’ (Is. 60 : 22) which has been a meaningful verse for me in the past too; and of a song I loved as a child (anyone else remember Psalty the singing songbook?).
In His time, In His TimeHe makes all things beautiful in His time.
Lord please show me every day
As You're teaching me Your way
That You do just what You say
In Your time.
In Your time, In Your TimeYou make all things beautiful in Your time.
Lord my life to You I bring
May each song I have to sing
Be to you a lovely thing
In Your time.
God’s plan and timing are perfect. Often what we think God’s plan should be isn’t right or best for us. He sees the bigger picture. We have seen that in the past, and are choosing to trust it for the future. We’ll keep waiting and praying.