New Strength, December 2DECEMBER 2

Focus: Moving forward

Psalm 23:2-3 (NKJV) He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Two days ago, my husband and I closed on a house we have been trying to purchase for several months. Interestingly, the first time we looked at the house, I was only inside it for a couple of minutes. It was summer in Florida and the place had been closed up for a while. Although it had a spectacular view of a green pastoral scene dotted with mature shade trees, and a sparkling little lake in the near distance…I didn’t think the house was worth the issues it presented on first impression.

We had looked at a number of other homes in the same neighborhood—sure that we liked the community, but nothing seemed to be the right fit. The housing market, which had been sedentary for a few years, was finally starting to perk up and we felt the urge to get serious about finding a spot that would be good for us, where we could live a simpler life and be able to slow down a little bit after many years of running at break neck speed.

It was almost time for us to leave for vacation when we decided to go back and revisit the house we didn’t like very much the first time we saw it. On second impression, it wasn’t quite as bad. Some work had been done and in general we liked it a lot more than before. Still, I had asked God to give me some kind of sign if this place was the one.

When we walked through the door, I was looking for clues. What would God show me to let me know if we were on the right or wrong track? For starters, it was a beautiful day and the scripture, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul” came to mind, when my eyes caught the view of the backyard from the living room. I felt peace as I walked from room to room. I noticed a couple of other specific things that gave me encouragement and we left the community that day feeling like maybe we’d found our next home.

We made an offer that was accepted and began the process of providing every last scrap of evidence about ourselves to the lender, in order to qualify for a small loan that would enable us to not have to sell our other home first. We wanted time to sort through our past and prepare for a new future. Making a gradual transition sounded like a good idea and felt like the best possible way to ‘downsize’ without going crazy.

In spite of our well thought out plan, the whole thing became incredibly complex and tedious. There were moments when it looked like maybe it wasn’t going to happen at all. So many times we had to just plead for the mercy of God and beg Him to give us hope and encouragement—or slam the door shut.

With each major thing that went wrong, there was always another option presented, so we kept trying to move forward. If we hadn’t asked God for such specific guidance, we could have easily given up. I have to say that toward the end, I was having trouble imagining the house would ever really be ours.

The closing date was finally set on a day when both my husband and I were scheduled to work. Jeff’s partner agreed to come into the pharmacy on her day off, to cover for him so he could leave work and be present. When the day arrived, somehow, Jeff’s partner—the mother of twin babies—forgot about our closing. When she was a half hour late, Jeff called to see if there was a problem and she said she’d be right there. Long story short—we stalled at the closing table until Jeff got there. Right down to the last minute, I couldn’t help but wonder!  Regardless of the roadblocks, we signed our way through the stacks of forms and statements, and left the closing with a key.

In the past 48 hours, we’ve launched into the beginning stages of transforming our newly acquired home. We’ve already begun ‘peeling away’ layers of the house’s former complexion, to make it into what we dream it can become.

There is an exhilarating feeling about seeing old things pass away and watching all things become new…whether it’s in the context of a home…or your life. It seems things always have to get messier before they start getting better, but clearing out the old is so necessary.

A beautiful reality about our life in Christ, is that all things are continually being made new. The present keeps becoming the past and the future keeps becoming the now. God keeps doing the impossible and showing us in complicated circumstances that He can do anything. It’s an ongoing process that will continue until the end of time.

Whatever you’re waiting on God to manifest for you—be encouraged and don’t stop hoping! He has a great plan that will keep unfolding with every tick of the clock. All you have endured will be worth it.

Declaration: I will find new strength by trusting the God of all hope to continue making all things new for me.

All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book in 2014, by the grace of God. To subscribe to New Strength, select ‘follow’ in the upper left corner of this page.

For music selections that will help bring hope and encouragement during your recovery from depression and addiction, browse:http://www.youtube.com/user/NewStrengthMusic/videos?view=1&flow=grid




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