I worked at a somewhat dead-end retail job in Alabama. The small town in which I lived just didn’t have many opportunities for employment and I didn’t see much of a future for my family. My mom had moved to Texas the year before and I had been toying with the idea of following her. I had prayed about it and did not receive any clear direction from God. This was a bit frustrating because I had made rash decisions in the past without even consulting God, unless it was foolishly to delegate tasks to him. Those prayers went something like this: “Ok God, let me tell you what I am going to do. I am going to go to school at this school. My applications are in, my application fee is paid and my transcripts are in. I need you to make sure I get accepted and do well. And, I need this, this, and this. I’ve done my part and if you would do yours, we can ace this thing. Thanks for listening. Amen.”
I cringe when I think about doing this! I can’t believe I actually prayed like that at one time. But I guess that is just a symptom of being a baby Christian. I probably shouldn’t beat myself up over it too badly. Needless to say, things sometimes went well for me in spite of these prayers and there were times when things did not. Those times were when I was operating solo: not considering or consulting God at all. As a matter of fact, there were times that I made decisions that I know were contrary to his will for my life.
So, this time, I didn’t want to blow it. I wanted to do what God wanted for me and the family. When we walk contrary to his ways, when times of trouble hit, we want to go to him for help. Sometimes, I can imagine him sitting up there, the Universal parent looking at me with the same look that my parents had when I was contrary to their rules and got into trouble.
I never got a clear answer. I finally decided no answer was not really a no, so I decided to take the leap. A few days before we left, I was sharing this story with the wife of a Pastor that I knew. She told me that I would not know whether or not it was right until I got here and had been here for a little while. She told me that after I arrived, I would know.
I brought my boys out to Texas with nothing but their bicycles and a few clothes. The same day that we left, a mission group from our church was going west too. They were on their way to Guatemala to deliver wheelchairs in a ministry. As I drove on I-10, coming west, I thought of them on their long trip. I also thought of our last Sunday School lesson at church. It was about Daniel, and how he was a stranger in a foreign land. I felt like I would be a stranger in Texas. Although it was not a foreign land, it would be new to me. Daniel held to his customs although he was in a different land. He refused to follow the customs of the new land. And the King respected him for that.
I don’t know why, but I just kept thinking about this story as we traveled.
We first arrived in Laredo to visit my brother, who I had not seen in years. We were at his house one afternoon, where I had lay down to take a nap. I remember hearing that he had a man coming to his house to hang a new painting of something or the other that he had bought. I didn’t know much about it. I was sure that it wouldn’t interfere with my nap. Few things do.
When I awoke, I started down the stairs when I saw the new painting: it was a beautiful painting of Daniel in the Lion’s Den.
Thankfulness Challenge and Joy Dare:
Today, I am thankful for:
90. A nice evening with a friend
91. The way that ice cream tends to make things better for kids.
92. The nice gentleman who put air in my tire yesterday.
copyright 2012 by Kathy Robbins