Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Moving (Towards Trusting God)

by Carson Speight

The wait was finally, graciously, over.

For some time, I had been unhappy with my job. Not the company, or the people, but the job. I longed to obtain work that was satisfying, or as Frederick Buechner put it, “a vocation where my greatest passion meets the world’s greatest need.” I had a passion and the skills but not the opportunity. After a few years of praying, grumbling, networking and soul-searching, this past Fall the opportunity I was hoping for came. I had been recruited within my company to a role that I felt greatly matched my passions and skills. The wait was over and I was excited, thankful and relieved.

But there was a problem. After verbally accepting the position, the formal process of position acceptance and division transfer was not happening quickly. Something was wrong, as if they could not offer me the position after all. I thought, “God, was this too good to be true? Would you actually bless me this wonderfully—to give me the exact desire of my heart—only to crush it?” No way. God does not offer a blessing and then spitefully snatch it away. Instead, I learned that I could have the job as long as I moved to Greensboro. This was hard and unexpected and I was bewildered.

What was God up to? I felt certain He had been setting me up for this role for the last several years. It didn’t make any sense as to why He would uproot us to move to another city and away from our family, church family, and friends. I really didn’t think I could accept the position. Yet, when the hiring manager asked me what I would do, I couldn’t say no. I told her I would think about it.

That was an understatement. For the next week, thinking about it was all I did. My best thought was to consult wise friends. These friends explained similar experiences regarding moving to a new place or wrestling with God. Some of them told me about Greensboro and the more I inquired of the city myself, the more open I was to going there. But with all of the great words my friends gave me, I still was asking God to give me something concrete to help me make this big decision. Yet, it became clear as the week wore on that it was not likely the bush would burn for me. In fact, the words that stuck with me most came from a friend who said that God might just be asking me to trust Him. Despite this rather ambiguous notion, it seemed to make the most sense for my situation.

We knew we had to step out and trust Him. Our hearts hurt for the things we would lose here. We would leave our home that we’ve been in since our second year of marriage. We would leave our church body that we have been a part of even longer. And we knew that many relationships, simply due to distance, would lose their strength. But God was doing something great, even if it was hard. So we told everyone we would be moving. I started my new job in Raleigh at the beginning of the year, and a colleague introduced me to others as “our pilgrim to Greensboro.”

Now that the decision was made, we had to make a plan. A couple of weeks into the new year, Danielle and I discussed and wrote down all of the things that needed to happen in the coming months to leave Raleigh. That same week, my manager informed me that things were not moving quickly in Greensboro and that I could stay in Raleigh if I wanted to! You might think that would have been good news to me, but I couldn’t even rejoice because I was so perplexed as to what God was up to! Didn’t he want us to move? Isn’t that what this entire elaborate process was about? Would He really bring us through this crazy journey of trust only to have us not take the big step we thought He was asking of us? We wrestled with the questions, especially as we soon understood there was no reason to move and we would be staying in Raleigh.

It didn’t take long before the joy and excitement of staying home began to set in. We were relieved and thankful for what God had done. But we still weren’t sure why He did it. For me, it came back to the simple statement of my friend, “maybe God is just calling you to trust Him.” Certainly, God had called us to trust Him. I realize now that a large part of my confusion was assuming what would happen when I trusted God. I thought trusting Him meant selling my house, moving to a new city and to a new house, meeting new friends, finding a new church and making a new life. Yet, it seems that was never part of the Lord’s plan. Abraham believed God was calling Him to sacrifice his son, Isaac; really God was calling Abraham to trust Him. Zechariah wanted to know how Elizabeth would bear such a great child, any child for that matter, in her old age; God just wanted Zechariah to trust Him. Peter jumped out of the boat because he wanted to walk on water like his rabbi; Jesus just wanted Peter to trust Him.

And God knows we did not trust Him perfectly. Yet, like Zechariah and Peter, God is still faithful in our trust failures. Yet also, like Abraham, trusting God brings rich blessing for our lives. It deepens our affections for Him. And so it has for the Speight family.

1 comment :

  1. God is good all the time. Thank you for this Carson.