Sometimes we pray for a long time, over and over, about the same thing and it feels like God isn’t budging.
Back in 2006, we moved into our first home. It was far from church and work, and we literally prayed about moving for years before we were enabled to do so. We begged God for wisdom, clarity, open doors…and he showed up! Just not on our timeline!
And then sometimes God shows up so quickly that it’s undeniable that it’s His working, and we just sit back speechless.
That’s what our story is about today.
We’ve lived in our current house for 2-1/2 years. It’s a beautiful 2-story, corner lot, roomy kitchen with a big pantry, look-through fireplace between the dining room and living room. We haven’t loved the wood trim and paint colors everywhere, but the bones of the house are gorgeous. It’s comfortable. We’ve been happy here.
But every few months we kick around the idea of moving again, because….did God call us to have beautiful, comfortable living arrangements or to steward his money in order to benefit His kingdom?
An aside: I realize that this discussion goes against the grain of the culture. Even Christians like to be comfortable in their homes. And in reality, I’m hoping to find a house where we can breathe and grow as a family and continue our ministry of hospitality to others. I’m also NOT saying that those of you with big houses need to sell everything you have and give it to the poor. This situation is about our personal conviction by the Holy Spirit.
We are not drowning financially, but we are surely treading water here in this house. When we look at our budget, the only thing that we can really change that would give us more wiggle room is the mortgage. I mean, we could stop using heat and electricity – but brrrrr. Michigan is not the right state for that kind of frugality.
So, we were sitting here in our home office, pulling up grar.com and talking about moving. And Luke’s phone rang. It was a realtor, asking to walk through our house with an interested couple. That was 3:30pm.
Way back in June, we put a “Make Me Move” price on our house on Zillow.com. And we received a few calls this fall, which didn’t amount to anything. We even had someone walk through the house once, but they weren’t interested.
But the timing of this phone call was uncanny. We immediately went into crazy cleaning mode. I was running around our incredibly messy house, sweating and complaining to God about the timing of this thing. I was being a little Israelite, complaining about God’s provision. Isn’t it sad how badly we yearn for Him to work, and then when He does, we aren’t satisfied? Maybe that’s just me?
Half an hour later, they showed up. Luke had warned them that it wouldn’t be “showing ready.” He told them we have four littles, and we’re in the middle of a painting project in the living room. Thankfully, they were very gracious.
Luke gave them the grand tour, answered questions, chatted about our mutual friends. (GR can be a small world, haha.) And they left us with the hope that they’d make an offer.
We pulled out of the driveway one whirlwind of an hour after the call, at 4:30pm, to go to a birthday party. We were speechless. An hour prior, we had discussed possibly moving to better serve God with our money. We talked about how I would dread doing showings again with four littles and a big house to clean. And now, we were driving away with the possibility of selling after ONE showing. Never being officially on the market, never cleaning the house to spotless perfection, only one half hour of sweating and stress.
Friends, if you have ever sold a house, you KNOW that that is GOD working!!!
So now we wait. We received an offer, put in a counter-offer, and have (virtually) looked at every single home and lot in a reasonable price range in our desired area. We need some great wisdom and clarity for our next steps.
But how can we fear? God did this thing. He will be with us.
Just like those Israelites. In their wilderness wanderings, they moved when “the cloud” moved and they stayed when “the cloud” stayed. They followed the leading of the LORD. We’re going to do that, and we are going to try really hard not to complain about it in the meantime!