- Eldon Peterson
When facing an unknown future, trust in the Lord
If you’re like me, moving is one of your least favorite activities. While living in Logan, we have moved 3 times; each stay was about 12 years. We have now been in our current home for 12 years and I’m hoping the pattern will be broken. I don’t like the interruptions and the mess that a move inevitably brings.
This past month we have been moving our business; our fifth since opening in 1983. We are only moving across the parking lot, but a move is a move. Our new location is slightly smaller which is a blessing because our current location had over 1,000 sq. feet of storage that was filled with stuff. Isn’t that one of the biggest challenges of any move, figuring out what to do with the useless stuff that we have accumulated?
Rarely is a move simply the transferring of stuff; normally there is also work that needs to be done to get the new place ready for our use. The previous tenant in our new space was an ice cream shop – a much different use than a bookstore. We’ve made color changes, built counters, moved book cases and of course books. What I had hoped would take a few weeks has now expanded into a month and we are still not quite ready to reopen. Doesn’t a move always take more time and work than we have anticipated?
Packing, sorting, organizing, building, unpacking, reorganizing, cleaning – the work never seems to end! We think, “It would have been easier to have stayed put!” Sound familiar? Have you felt this way in the midst of a move? We get through by remembering the reasons for the move and we again find hope. However, getting there can take some time.
Genesis 12 tells us about a greater move with a greater hope, “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. I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing… So, Abram departed as the LORD had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran.” (1-2, 4) This was no simple move!
It is important for us to understand what the Lord was calling Abram to do. When the Lord tells him to pull up his roots, to depart from the only life that he has ever known, to follow the Lord, he is following a God whom he has not known before. Abram is leaving behind the idol worshipping of his forefathers to follow the Lord Almighty whom he has not previously known. Rarely will we make a move based upon someone else’s wishes, and if we should, it’s by the request of someone we know, a spouse, parents or employer. But Abram is so touched by the Lord’s call for him to leave that he packs up his family and moves out trusting in the Lord.
Look again at the verses. This was not a convenient time for Abram to go. The task the Lord puts before Abram is something more fitting a young man, not someone who is 75! Most people in their 70’s are drawn to a season of rest not an overwhelming task! But Abram leaves trusting in the Lord’s promise to make from him a “great nation”.
How was he able to make such a move? We are told that he goes by faith. Listen to what Hebrews tells us about Abram, “It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going.” (11:8)
I have never packed my bags to go a place that I did not know. Instead, I don’t leave until I know where I am going. While moving is difficult, it is bearable when we can see the light at the end. However, those whose lives are uprooted with no promise of a future, they understand how amazing Abram’s faith is. His hope was not in knowing the future, but in knowing the one who holds the future in his hands!
What does this mean for us? We need to look to the Lord and walk by faith rather than sight. We cannot allow the fears of an unknown future to consume us. Rather we will be wise to trust in the Lord!