February 26, 2011

Pick Up Your Tent

We've been "empty-nesters" for many years as our children moved on, yet in the literal sense, we've rarely had an empty nest. As we've yielded our home to God, He has continually filled it with His people as He chose in His time.

I am a nester, HOME-maker, the maker of a HOME - settle in, fluff things up, take care of the nest and those in it, push them out when they're ready, make a new nest when the old one is damaged or we "migrate".  I would be happy to have HOME in one place all of my life, going out as needed but returning HOME, welcoming any the Father brings to us.

This nesting satisfies both my spirit and my flesh, yet primarily I am not a nester, but a God-follower - wherever He leads in the spiritual and the physical.  I've gone places I never expected or even wanted to go - spiritually and physically, and, in sharing our home with others, we've been tested us in ways we never would have chosen, yet His grace is sufficient (you think??) and we are sharpened by one another (Prov. 27:17 NIV).  In my weakness (emotional, self centered, from past hurts/traumas, whatever), He is made strong. The Amplified Bible expounds on this ,"But He (the Lord) said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you (sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully); for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in (your) weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

My desire is that I may glorify Him - I cannot determine how that will happen; I must trust Him to lead me. "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,' says the Lord. 'For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.'" (Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV).  Humbling, isn't it? I can't even choose how to glorify Him...and yet, I can - to obey implicitly and immediately, trusting Him wholly.  He is faithful, worthy - love itself. I do choose to glorify Him, to follow Him wherever He leads.

Nesting? Following God? As believers we have nomadic heritage even from before our father Abraham to the children of the Exodus who followed the pillar of cloud and fire. Our innate desire is to hear His voice and follow Him. Let us encourage one another to be ready to move out at His directions, to pick up our tent (spiritual or physical), taking only what is essential, and leave the rest behind.  Hanging on to ways or things of the past will only hold us back from all He has for us.  We do well to read of and learn from the Old Testament stories of God's people - in bondage in Egypt, delivered from bondage, wandering in the wilderness because of their stubbornness.  Isaiah 43 again tells of God's protection, His love, His plan for His people - not our plan, His plan- "Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert." (Isaiah 43: 18-19 NKJV)

Following hard after Him? There is no better way!

Where He Leads Me by Twila Paris (click to hear song)

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