Going again…

I was born in a time when pastors in our denomination changed congregations every 3 or 4 years. The thinking then was that a long tenure produced stale preachers and bored parishioners 😊. I clearly remember my dad telling the family when he was praying about a ‘call’ that had come from somewhere, and always there was this sense that the most important thing in life was to be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. If this was a true ‘Macedonian call’ (Acts 16:9) and the invitation was accepted, my mother would immediately start packing. And I can honestly say that I don’t recall any great trauma at changing schools 4 or 5 times before I graduated. Instead, somehow, we children were impressed early in life that obedience was THE great adventure of life and that when God guides, He provides. Little did I know that I was being prepared for our life with Christ for all Nations, a life that has produced, at last count, 31 or 32 moves around 5 continents, 3 different passports and starting a home from scratch at least 5 times.

It has not always been easy to live with the understanding ‘…here we have no lasting city…’, especially when I see the relationships of those who have lived in one community all their lives. It’s been a long time since our children married and produced grandchildren. We now live on the other side of the world from the rest of our precious family, and I mark time by the gaps between being together again, time between long hugs and butterfly kisses on my cheek from our great grandchild, time between ‘here’ and ‘there’. We have been in South Africa just short of 3 months and our little holiday home here is eerily quiet today. All have gone back to their homes and dogs and work, and we return to the USA next week. The family reunion is over – for now.

I am often reminded of the words of our Lord Jesus: ‘Truly I tell you, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel  will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life.’

It took a while for me to really get to grips with that little phrase ‘along with persecutions.’ Like I said, just because we have answered our ‘Macedonian call’ does not mean that we have had a smooth life and no challenges. For starters, the enemy of our souls hates godly obedience and will throw every obstacle in its way – obedience that has no price is not a step of faith. But this I know for certain: ‘The one who calls us by name, is trustworthy and will thoroughly complete his work in us.’ (1 Thess. 5:23,24 TPT)

I don’t know that I have the energy for another move again at this age, but who knows? There may yet be another Macedonian call coming our way 😊. Speak Lord, your servant is listening!!