Sunday, July 13, 2014

Future plans

This morning our children were asking about where our family will be at different times. They talked about how there are benefits to being in both Uganda and in the United States of America. We all like to know the plan and what to expect. Growing up we are taught to plan ahead, save for the future, set and accomplish goals. Those can all be good things, but God has been teaching me to not cling to our plans. Instead simply follow where God is leading.

Please don't misunderstand, I am not the kind of person who naturally is always seeking the next adventure, or doesn't want to put down roots. I love putting down roots, both relationally and botanically. At our house in Georgia we planted trees for anniversaries and other significant celebrations. I imagined we would live there for a very long time, but God had something else in mind. 

This morning I was reading in Exodus 40 about the instructions to the Israelites to stay where they were when the cloud was in the tabernacle and to move when the cloud raised up. This required daily, moment by moment, following the Lord. I tried to imagine what it would be like waking up every morning, looking to the Presence of God to see if we were going to pack up and move that day. While that sounds overwhelming, I remembered what a friend told me about the cloud and the fire. They were not just symbols of God's presence, they were tangible signs of His loving care for His people. The cloud provides shade and protection from the sun during the day, and the fire provides light and heat in the night. While it is sometimes hard to follow the leading of God, we also have the comfort of His Presence. Not only will God be with his people wherever they are, but He is caring for our needs wherever He takes us. 

I am learning to be ok with realizing that I don't need to know what God has for me tomorrow, much less next year. We will pray seeking God's leading and make our plans, but will do so trying to always remember that it is The Lord who determines our steps. Isn't it funny that I often take more comfort when I think I have it figured out, than I do knowing that God does have it figured out? 

So what did I say to my children? I talked with them about the Israelites. I also told that that we hope to be on furlough in America May-July 2015, and that we believe God wants us to come back to Uganda after that to continue our work here. I told them that is what we believe God has for us, but we will follow God wherever He leads. 

One of my dear Ugandan friends has a great song by Jim Reeves as her ringtone. Here are some of the words:
This world is not my home.
I'm just a passin' through. 
My treasures are laid up,
Somewhere beyond the blue. 

While we are building a house here and feel at home both in Georgia and in Uganda, I am thankful for this reminder that my true home is with God. I can trust Him with our future. He will provide for us wherever He leads. Praise God! 

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