Although, we moved in May, we just finished our 2nd month living in our new old house in downtown Muncie.
Finding this house, for the price, seemed like such a good deal, especially in March- it doesn’t have AC, but we’ll be ok. It has not been ok, it has been hot. There is one window AC unit, but it only cools one room, and there are no screens on the windows, so the place becomes unbearable in many ways.
The night we moved in, we had to evacuate because of carbon monoxide- the fire chief said it was good thing the detector went off or you would have died. We had further gas problems as we tried to get a washer & dryer installed, which took way longer than it should have and resulted in a lot of frustration, and still isn’t completely resolved.
The latest news comes as I saw a little furry creature skirt across our living room floor. It was kind of a blur… and as i searched, i couldn’t see anything. I hoped maybe i was imagining something… but sure enough there are mice in the house.
On the plus side, Halle said she saw it, and it makes her happy because it is so cute.
It is the only thing she likes about the new place.
Before we bought the place, the kids were excited. But now they hate it.
When we came back from Colorado, Josiah quipped “this doesn’t feel right.”
It didn’t. We had only lived in the house for 4 weeks before we left for the summer- meaning we actually lived longer in that apt in Fort Collins than we had in our “home.”
We travel a lot and spend a lot of time away from home, so that may seem where we live doesn’t matter that much, but actually it is reverse, we always want some place to come home to.
I miss our old home. As much as I hated it when we lived there. It was quiet, and had a back yard the kids could play in, nice neighbors,carpet on the floors, nice paint on the wall and AC, oh how i miss the AC.
So… why did we move again?
The quick answer is we moved here to have an influence on downtown Muncie, to help bring restoration, to help plant a church, and to glorify God.
We know that to be true, but that isn’t why i ask myself this question, and already started looking at zillow.
No, I ask these questions because what has happened since we moved.
- We had the stress of pakcing up and moving
- We almost died our first night in
- We face unexpected problems and costs with the house
- Our van got totaled while driving in the new neighborhood
- The new van got keyed 2 days after we got it
- Our kids complain about living here all the time
- And now we have mice
On top of that is this- are we really making a difference? Were we the right people to do this? We haven’t really got out on the best foot with the neighbors.
I mean, after a long day of being with people all day, this introvert isn’t the best at meeting more people. Beyond that the kids demand time and drain energy. We don’t seem to have the time or energy, let alone skill or finances to really make our place look much nicer and improve the neighborhood.
As i read articles, i can feel discouraged that we are not skilled enough or good enough to do the work i want to do.
So, what should I do now? Give up? Make the most of a bad situation? Move? Maybe we’re not the right people for this.
What is happening here?
I was told when i take a step of faith, God would be faithful. God would be with me.
We may look at stories in the Bible and say look those guys took a step of faith and everything worked out for them- how come it doesn’t for me?
We read that Shadrach, Meshach and Abdenego say “Our God will deliver us and even if He does not…” or that Esther says “If I perish, I perish…” but in neither case do they suffer. They are delivered
The lie I have been fed to believe (And that i often may even promote) is once i take a step of faith, everything else will be easy.
The hardest thing is getting on the plane. The hardest thing is leaving behind. Then everything else will work out.
Certainly that first step is hard, in fact it may be the hardest thing- but that doesn’t mean the rest of the way is easy.
When i lived in East Asia i noticed this a lot. There was an attitude of, i took a step of faith to leave America and come here, now i don’t need to take any more steps of faith.
If we look at history and look at the Bible we’ll see this certainly isn;t the case.
Abraham had to leave his country, leave his home- which was hard. But his journey didn’t end there.
And yes when Abraham went to sacrifice his son, God did stop him and provided a lamb for him to sacrifice instead- yet that does not mean his journey was not difficult!
Paul was spared death repeatedly, constantly delivered. On the flip side he suffered all the more because of it. He was grieved by physical pain but also emotional pain.
Moses was a reluctant follower- and what was his reward? Basically everything he feared and worse. Rejection, new trial after new trial and constant criticism.
He appeared to Pharaoh and was rejected. In fact the first time he came instead of letting the people go, he made their labor even harder! The people of Israel he came to help, hated him. He had to go to Pharaoh not just two or three times, but ten times(!) before the people were finally delivered. And even then Pharaoh again pursued him – and the people of Israel complained against him.
Moses then again delivered them but faced constant trials and troubles. After every miraculous deliverance, the people would find new things to complain about. It was never-ending. And the people made false gods on top of this, and continually rejected his shepherding.
The life of Moses is a good example of what a life of faith and ministry will likely look like for many.
So, i must ask myself why i am doing this?
Is it for a comfortable, easy life?
Is it for fame and respect and to build a reputation?
Is it to feel good about myself?
Is it to see something happen? To make a difference?
Yes, we came here to make a difference in Muncie, but ultimately that can’t be why we came. We moved to Muncie because we felt God leading us to move. We came out of obedience and faith and to glorify God. We don’t know if we will do things well or if we will make that much of a difference in people’s lives.
Yet, even if things are difficult, even if we see little fruit, even if it is uncomfortable- God is still faithful.
There are a lot of nice things to like about living here. We are super close to the kid’s school and our church. We can walk to the Y, which is nice for extra child-care. And we’re right next door to McDonalds- which may be good or bad. We and our kids are exposed to the realities of homlessness and there are opportunities to get involved in a community. Eventually this place will feel more like home.
But it will never be home. Christ is preparing an eternal home for us- and that home is with Him. He came to rescue me and you, and provided deliverance from sin and access to God thru His life & death and resurrection. My soul longs for rest and comfort. Jesus says come to ME and I will give you rest. He has sent His Spirit to be a Holy Comforter. And He is coming again to take me to an eternal home to be with Him forever.
So, what do I do now? I continue to walk by faith. I continue seeking to honor God. I rest in the Gospel. I take the next step. I hope in Christ.
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.
13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
Hebrews 11:8-10, 13-16
Though the fig tree may not blossom,
Nor fruit be on the vines;
Though the labor of the olive may fail,
And the fields yield no food;
Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,
And there be no herd in the stalls—
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God[c] is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.
The children may complain. The mice may pester. The heat may weary. I can rejoice in the Lord. I can find strength in Him. Serving the City, while Seeking the one which is to come.