We just made a huge family move from Nashville, TN to Cincinnati, OH where the family is part of starting a new church, termed “church planting”. It has been quite the process: selling a home, buying another, packing, unpacking, finding new friends for the kids, fixing major issues with the home, new schools, new jobs, family, you name it. This morning was the first time in about ten months I even felt the room in my soul to try to write. Yes, it has been whirlwind, but maybe the winds are slowing down a little.
At times, I have felt like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Picked up by a tornado from my comfortable home and placed into this strange place where the old rules don’t apply and I’m just trying to figure out how to find someone who knows what is going on. Thankfully, I think I’ve discovered my own ruby red slippers, to find my way back home, except they won’t be taking me back to Nashville.
Philippians 3: 7-8
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.
The Apostle Paul wrote those verses from prison, where he was shackled 24-7 to a Roman guard, one of the elite fighters responsible for protecting the Emperor. Many of these killers came to know Jesus as Savior because they were shackled to the greatest evangelist the world had seen.
But, I just let that sink in today. If Paul can consider everything he had ever done in life as loss, or better yet some translations say “rubbish”, or trash, compared to the greatness of simply knowing Jesus, then certainly I can too. At the end of the day, we must let the past pass away. We must let go of the past, with all of its achievements, disappointments, hurts and highs. And we must look forward, embracing our current circumstances and asking God how He wants to glorify Himself through us, even if we find ourselves chained up to professional killers like Paul did.
My eldest daughter and I recently went back to Nashville for a quick 40 hours to attend a wedding. We both agreed, it no longer felt like home. That was a little upsetting to me, because Cincinnati didn’t yet fully feel like home. But it hit me today, I must make this my home. Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz always possessed the way for her to get back home: clicking her ruby red shoes, so we possess the way for joy in the midst of circumstances: our faith and trust in God’s plan.
Question: What circumstances is God asking you to trust Him through? What from your past needs to be let go and allowed to pass out of your life, so that something greater can come?