“One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done(Psalm 62:11,12).”
Today I took my wife to the neighborhood I grew up in. I didn’t intend to, but somehow the family got engrossed in conversation and I missed my exit. Since we were nearby, I gave her the grand tour.
The old ‘hood looks the same, but the main drag through the area has become somewhat seedy. I told her that the place isn’t what it used to be, at least in my memory.
While my old neighborhood was a good place to raise a family when I was a kid, her opinion was that living there now would be suffocating. It would strangle our family’s growth. There wouldn’t be any room to breathe. While the place of my childhood was fine for my father and mother’s family, it wasn’t “us”.
We moved back to the USA late last year and we still aren’t settled. My job as an adjunct university professor is by nature not permanent. Our current home has been leased to someone else, so we have to move in a couple of months.
All this unsettledness makes me think it’s time to uproot –again. I love it here in Southwest Virginia, my old stomping grounds, but my wife deserves better than our current situation.
She is a Proverbs 31 woman. No, she’s not perfect, but that chapter of Solomon describes her well. She works hard to make a home for us in less than desirable circumstances (Proverbs 31:15,17).
My wife has also been known to have a heart for the lonely and isolated. When we were in Finland, she was regularly reaching out to international students who needed a friend or practical help (Proverbs 31:20).
Her kids and her husband see her worth. Our family couldn’t function without her (Proverbs 31:28).
Best of all, and most importantly, she hangs on to God in the midst of our craziness. Yep, she’s human and asks God “why?” and “why not?” a lot. But that only shows that she doesn’t have some cookie cutter view of Him. She sees Him as a real Person (Proverbs 31:30b).
As a result of my wife’s faithfulness, I think she should be rewarded. So does God (Proverbs 31:31).
This is why I am so frustrated. With my menial wages, I can’t provide for her the way I want. With another move facing us, I have a wake up call to do something about it, at least what is in my power to do.
As I mentioned above, I love my old digs from the past. The mountains of Southwest Virginia heal my soul. But if this is the Promised Land for us, it is God who will have to come through. Otherwise, we probably will have to move again, out of the area, as opportunity arises.
I am comforted, though, in the story of Isaac. This son of Abraham was living in his Promised Land, the one God gave to his father Abraham.
However ,there was a famine in the region, and Isaac was tempted to head to the big city for some economic relief. God stopped Him from moving, though, and reaffirmed His promises. He told Isaac not to leave the area, to stick it out, and “I will be with you and bless you (Genesis 26:3)”. That was enough for Isaac. He stayed put.
Isaac had a lot of conflict when he obeyed God and stayed where He wanted him to. Men pushed him around and he had to move around within the region. Eventually, though, God gave him room to breathe in Rehoboth and peace with his neighbors in Beersheeba (Genesis 26:22-32).
As I see it, I serve the same God Isaac did. God has a long memory concerning those who are faithful to Him (Hebrews 6:10).
Whether that means I stay or go, I know for sure God is a rewarder of those who seek Him and are faithful to Him. That’s my wife. So while I may not be able to come through on a human level, He sure can come through on His.
We need room to breathe, and I’m depending on Him to give it to us, at least for her sake.