“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”
Life brings about all sorts of changes. Have you noticed that? Just when you think that you are settled in, on a steady course, life throws you a curve ball and turns you up-side-down. Here is the silver lining: God already has a plan. He already knows how that bump in the road is going to be used to better your life. A bump in the road to us is no surprise to God.
When I heard God whisper, “God has a plan for you in 2014” in my ear on New Year’s Eve I had no idea that God was talking to me. I just thought it was another one of those clever little quotes that God was giving me to pass along to someone else that I was needing to encourage. Boy was I mistaken.
My husband and I have been praying for a while now for a new house. The house we were in was a nice, cozy little home. It was the house my husband had grown up in since the age of fifteen. It was also getting very old. We had made some minor upgrades to it over the years, but quickly realized that we were going to have to put more money into it than it was worth. We were headed for a season of change, and we were scared to death.
We considered many options and prayed for God to guide us, but no matter how much we prayed we could never get peace about a particular decision. So, we did nothing. We decided that until we could both be at peace about a decision that we would just keep praying about it. I knew that God would lead when His timing was perfect.
As time went on I began to feel as if God was not listening. I questioned whether I was asking with the right motives. I made sure that I was asking with a sincere heart. I did everything I knew to do to hear from God. Still, all I heard was silence. It was as if God was telling me to just wait. More times that I should have, I said to God, “But God, you don’t understand. I need an answer,” and still there was silence.
Many times I went to my mom in tears, seeking advice on hearing from God. Here is a piece of advice that she gave to me and I will pass it on to you: “When you ask God to do something in your life, you better be serious about it, because when He says ‘move’ you better be ready to move.” I had no idea what she meant at the time, but let me assure you, we quickly found out.
As we prayed for guidance and waited to hear from God we began to have some issues at our house. They started off as minor electrical issues, but quickly grew into more serious problems, until one day we were given the advice that we better start seriously considering finding a new home.
I had spoken to one of the ladies at our church about helping us pray for direction and had asked advice on knowing when God was speaking. She said something to me that I will never forget. She told me, “Sometimes God wants you to take that first step of faith and then He will guide you the rest of the way.”
That is what my husband and I decided to do. Scared to death, we set out looking for a new home. For anyone who has ever bought their first home, you know how scary it is to take that first step.
Remember the advice that my mom gave about asking God to move? Well, we learned very quickly what she meant by that. We had gone a few times to look at mobile homes and had found a few we liked but had never seriously inquired about them. We decided after having the electrical problems that we better get serious and try to find a house.
We revisited one of the places we had looked before and within four hours had found a couple of houses we liked, and had started the necessary paper work to buy our first home. By the time we got home that day our heads were spinning, but I knew that God had been with us that day and I felt His peace was over me. I knew that we had done exactly what was suggested to us. We had stepped out in faith and God was beginning to lead.
It has been just a little over a week since we went to look at houses. Since that day, we have packed everything we own into boxes, torn down our old house and moved in with my parents until we get the new house moved in. We are praying that the new house can be here within a week. Just in case you missed it, let me add this in here: “ When you ask God to do something in your life, you better be serious about it, because when He says ‘move’ you better be ready to move.”
I could sit here and tell you story after story of how God has worked in our favor over the past couple of weeks. Numerous things have happened and there is no doubt that God is at work. We still have a long way to go before this season of change is over for us, but God has His hand on us and I am certain that we are right in the center of God’s will for our lives.
I wanted to share this story with you today for a few reasons:
The first reason is to encourage you. Maybe you are praying for God to move in your life. Let me assure you of this, if you ask with a sincere heart, and if you will be patient, God will move. But, let me warn you just as my mother warned me. When you ask God to move, you better be ready to move. Let me also encourage you to be patient. God’s timing is perfect. Even when we feel like God is not listening or He is being quiet, He is still working for us. Just because we can not see Him does not mean that He is not there. God has a plan for you too in 2014 and He will reveal it to you in His time.
Second, I would like to ask you to help us continue to pray. We have come a long way already but we still have a way to go. I can see God at work, I can feel His peace in our lives, and I can sense His protective hand over us as we move each day. Please help us pray that the rest of this process will go smoothly and that we will keep our ears and our hearts tuned in to what God wants us to do.
Thirdly, I pray that this story I shared with you today will encourage you to step out in faith. If there is something that you feel like God wants you to do but you have been too scared to do it, take that first step of faith. It may not be buying a house. There are numerous things that God could be calling you to do. Sometimes God wants you to take that first step of faith and He will guide you from there. If you will keep God first, He will not steer you in the wrong direction.