Does God Want You to Stay Put?

Learning to be thankful for the circumstances that you’re in.

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Posted in , Jun 20, 2017

When God wants you to stay put.

I went to look at an apartment a couple of weeks ago. It was at least a third larger than our current home, for the same cost. The family that lives there is moving to Tel Aviv for two years and wants to sublet. Given that we have six people living in under a thousand square feet (with one bathroom), this was very appealing. Even better, because it was a sublet we wouldn’t have to fork over the standard first month/last month/month’s security deposit up front.

One of my kids protested about the stress of moving. It was a valid point: my family has already had a rough year. Were we really up for a month’s worth of packing and unpacking and chaos? I was too tired to go through a full apartment search (two years ago we looked at 20 places to find one that would even remotely work), so I decided to hand the issue over to God. “It would be helpful to have more space,” I told Him, “If you want us to have that apartment, I’d be grateful. But it’s up to You.”

A week passed, and then two. Every five days or so I checked in with the apartment dwellers, careful to stay in their minds without being obnoxious or needy. Today I learned they are subletting the place to family friends.

I was surprised at how my mood plummeted. “I guess I wanted to be out of this cruddy apartment more than I realized,” I thought, crankily. I warned my kids to steer clear of me for a bit, then wallowed in my disappointment. 

Then I remembered I’m supposed to be thankful in all circumstances. Arrrgh! How on earth…? I fished for another way to look at this. It took a while. Eventually I realized that my disappointment was based on the assumption that moving would have made life easier. In some ways that was true. But what if moving made things worse? What if this ‘no’ saved me from additional hardships and difficulties? What if God needed me to be on hand to help my current neighbors in the coming year? There were many possible reasons we were staying put that had nothing to do with the amount of space we live in.

So I said thank you to God. Then I thought about how to reorganize the closets, so we can make better use of the square footage we have.

Tags: Faith,Prayer
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