Repeated First-Time Guest
By Sarah Seiz
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1 NLT
After almost seven years of being plugged into the same church, God called our family out of it. To say this uprooting was “difficult” would be an understatement. This was an extremely painful relocation process.
My husband and I sat our seven and nine-year-old down on the couch and tenderly explained that God was transitioning our family to another church. We then tried our best to field their questions.
Here is one that we did not have a clear answer for: “Where are we going?”
However, this challenge presented an opportunity to teach and apply Scripture to present day circumstances. God doesn’t always give us the next set of directions until we follow the first. This was the case for Abraham when God directed him to leave his home and family in order to answer his call.
Go to the land that I will show you . . .
It takes faith and trust to leave everything behind when you don’t even know where to go next. But we don’t have to know the entire plan today, because God will show us where to go—in His time. Often this requires us to take the first scary step of leaving the familiar and advancing into the unknown.
And so our great “Church Search” began. This quest was exciting at first because change can be refreshing. It was such a blessing to experience various styles of worship and preaching.
But change can quickly turn from exciting to exhausting—especially for children. Each Sunday my daughter and son would have to be the “new kid” and start all over again with introductions and unknowns. So my husband came up with an attitude incentive.
Every week, after we visited a new church, our family would go out for a treat afterwards to talk about our experience. Now our kids looked forward to ice cream, pizza, or other delectable eats. It was a fun family activity and helped ease the feelings of frustration with not knowing where to go next.
After months of being a repeated first-time guest, in over a dozen churches, we had acquired an assorted collection of complimentary pens, mugs, gift cards, key chains, t-shirts, swag bags . . . but still, we did not find the right fit for our family.
It would be nice if I had a perfect ending to this story with the comforting words, “We finally found our new church home and are all settled in.” But that’s not our family’s current testimony.
Today, we are still traveling. Still trusting and obeying. Still relying on the Holy Spirit to direct our path and make it clear to us when and where to stop and stay. I don’t know how long this journey will take, but I do trust that God has a plan for us and it will come to pass in His timing.
Whatever your “search” may be (church, spouse, house, job, etc.), continue to let the Lord lead you, so that He can bring you to the position He has already selected in advance for you.
Dear Lord, Even though the next set of reposition instructions may not have been revealed yet, help me to remember that a divine plan is there and that You will provide transitional directions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For more encouragement, visit Sarah at http://www.littlelightshinebright.com.
©2019 by Sarah Seiz. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Wednesday, 23 March 2022.