“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” Prov. 16:9
I’m sitting in the airport ready to head back home to Oklahoma after a successful house hunting trip to Utah. The Lord has provided a good, safe place for us to live within our budget while we get our feet under us here. Everything is falling into place. I spent time this week searching for a home, exploring the city and enjoying fellowship with dear friends. It has been a blessing, but I had mixed emotions, not just about leaving our church and friends in the red dirt state, but about our course in life overall.
Yesterday, I read over a letter I sent to Ed Compean before our family traveled to Kenya. In it, I told him all about our desire to serve there and expressed excitement with the potential ministry opportunities that existed. Six months later, Kenya is behind us and we’re on the verge of moving to Salt Lake City for a career promotion. It all seems surreal. Whiplash. If we live in a tale of two Kingdoms, then I feel like I’m exchanging one for the other. But feelings can be tricky things.
Reading the letter I wrote made me a little angry and a little sad. I don’t know why. There are probably a lot of reasons, some obvious and others not so obvious. It was a rough landing when we came home. For a couple months, we spent time questioning God’s call on our lives, questioning our motives, the presence of the Spirit within, even the legitimacy of our faith. It was an easy job to convince us of what we all believe deep down…that we’ll never be good enough.
My brother called me one night a few months back and said, “You’re emotionally and spiritually floundering. Don’t make any major decisions right now.” He was right. But I knew we were floundering long before he said that – and in the middle of all of it, my prayer was. “God show us your will. Put us where you want us for your kingdom.” It was nothing new. It was the same prayer I had been praying for the previous year as we prepared for Kenya. But now there was a little less fairy dust and a little more bite.
Through all the floundering, the “plan of my heart” has been to serve God, for our family to honor him in what we choose. I can stop floundering and rest in him, because as long as He is our desire, as we keep moving our feet He will direct our steps.
“We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.” – Oswald Chambers