When God Moves You
You know, when I’m 75 years old, I really want to be settled down. I hope to be in the place I’m going to stay until I die. I’ve moved 21 times in my life, and I know what a hassle it is, how disruptive it is, and how hard it is to reestablish meaningful relationships in a new place.
Abram didn't get to settle in and grow old in his hometown. God told him to leave and resettle in Canaan. And even then, he only got there in stages. First he settled in Bethel, then he went toward the Negev, had to detour for a while and live as a refugee in Egypt, and then went back up to the Negev. From there, He “went from place to place until he came to Bethel” and settled there. But then he had to move again when his and Lot’s flocks got too big and he ended up in Mamre. I’m tired just writing about it.
This foreshadows to some extent what happens with the Israelites as they flee Egypt and wander in the desert for 40 years. They would get the tents up, get settled in to a place for a bit, and then the cloudy pillar would up and move and they’d have to pack it all in and take off again.
While a few restless souls may thrive in that kind of perpetually nomadic existence, most of us yearn for stability. I do. But sometimes stability can equal complacency or inertia or calcification. So God makes us move. As Beth Moore says in The Quest “sometimes we’re all settled in when God seems to pick up and move. His Spirit doesn’t depart from within us, of course, but He’s leading us onward.”
We don’t want to whine and be balky and fling ourselves on the floor in protest like a five-year-old when He tries to get us to go somewhere. He’s taking us somewhere else spiritually. It’s not a punishment. At the least, it’s an adventure. At best, He’s leading us to Canaan or the Promised Land.
I hope when I’m 75, I’ll be willing like Abram to go wherever God takes me. “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11 “For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.” Psalm 48:14