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Lord willing

It’s a time for being open to possibilities, including staying put

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I called a meeting of my children to discuss selling the house. The taxes are going up, the township is going down, and income is flatlined.

We are cautioned not to care too much about money (Psalm 62:10) but also not to be bad stewards of it, like that prodigal who “wasted all his money in wild ­living” (Luke 15:13). You can sometimes waste your money just by doing nothing.

I searched my soul and found it isn’t putting its thumb on the scale one way or the other: If God wants us to stay and go down with the township, we are ­perfectly willing to do that. Barring a clear word from Him, though, we will move.

I always like to add “Lord willing” at this point, being mindful of James’ admonition against presumption: “You ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:13-15).

I count on Him to redirect if we are mistaken. Paul and Timothy tried to go to Bithynia but the Spirit ­redirected them to Macedonia (Acts 16:7, 9). Corrie ten Boom planned to retire to Lake Victoria after what should have been enough suffering for any one person, but the Spirit had other plans: 60 countries on six ­continents that need to hear about the new life.

There is always the Wilmur McLean factor to beware of. He’s the old Virginian who in 1861, after the battle of Bull Run was fought in his front yard, moved his family to a remote and safe town on the Appomattox River, where just over three years later, the Civil War ended in his parlor. Sometimes you flee from a lion to meet a bear (Amos 5:19).

Case in point: Empty nesters I know built their dream house in New Hampshire and weren’t there a month before they looked at each other and said, “What have we done!” and moved back into this area (Psalm 127:1). They were fine Christian people too. I don’t know why the Lord let them go through all that, but there are a lot of mysterious things about God.

Since my lane is slice-of-life writing, I can do that stuff anywhere. I’d like to go to France because my brother’s French brother-in-law has a church and maybe could use a co-laborer in the gospel. Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country” (Mark 6:4)—which I translate: A foreign accent may be an advantage. But my husband doesn’t speak French, so a friend looked me in the eye and said, “Andrée, forget France.”

There’s the grandchildren issue. “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, until I proclaim your power to the next generation” (Psalm 71:18). On the other hand there is this: “He who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Matthew 10:37). It is in speaking of the wicked, not the righteous, that the psalmist writes: “They are satisfied with children” (Psalm 17:14). Many have ripped themselves from the pleasure of grandchildren for the sake of the kingdom of God (Luke 18:29-30).

God gives lots of choices without finding fault, which theologians call “adiaphora.” The Apostle Paul commends singleness but concedes, “If you do marry, you have not sinned” (1 Corinthians 7:28). Of the eating of iffy ceremonial foods he says, “We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do” (1 Corinthians 8:8). It is comforting that “nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5).

On the other hand, “she who lives for pleasure is dead while she lives” (1 Timothy 5:6). You don’t want to fall into that trap. For instance, I was thinking we should buy an RV and drive to all the national parks and talk to strangers about Jesus. But that sounds suspiciously like buying a Mercedes-Benz so we can have a ministry to Mercedes-Benz owners.

Oh to be found in the center of God’s will! Whether France, the Falklands, or Philadelphia, it’s the only safe place to be.

Andrée Seu Peterson

Andrée is a senior writer for WORLD Magazine. Her columns have been compiled into three books including Won’t Let You Go Unless You Bless Me. Andrée resides near Philadelphia.


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