Hebrews 11:8-10, Genesis 12:1-8
Have you ever made a major move? I’m talking about a move where you are uprooting the whole family and moving to a completely new area, new jobs, new school, and new church. My husband and I have made a few out of state moves and it is never easy. One of the more emotionally easy moves was when we moved from Kalamazoo, MI to Grand Rapids, MI because those cities were only an hour apart. Even though we wouldn’t see our friends in Kalamazoo often, they still didn’t feel very far away. One of the harder moves for us has been the most recent move, which was from Grand Rapids, MI to a suburb of Buffalo, NY. This move was emotionally more difficult because we were leaving jobs we liked, and leaving behind many friends, both from Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids. This was also harder because the kids were older and were doing well in school both socially and academically. I don’t want to sound gloomy about our move, because we were very excited about all the new possibilities God placed before us as we moved to New York. He had made it very clear to us that He wanted us here. We have adjusted well to the move, and God has already blessed us greatly here in New York, but it still doesn’t take away the pain of leaving behind what is a source of joy and comfort. Facebook has been a wonderful tool for us to keep up with all our old and new friends. As I read this next section in Hebrews, I could feel the pain Abraham and Sarah must have felt when they had to leave the land they knew and leave their family.
Abraham’s story is still different from ours; he didn’t necessarily know where God was leading him at the time, but he knew God had said that it was time to go. With my husband being a pastor, we have had other pastor friends feel God telling them that it was time to go, but not given any clear direction as to where they were to go. By faith, our friends would leave their church and trust that God would lead them to where they needed to be. It has always been incredible to watch God honor their faith and provide for them during their time of transition. We have seen our friends find a new church to serve, and we have also seen some friends start new para-church ministries. For me, their stories are an example of the calling God gave Abraham. It is interesting to read these sections of scripture, because I have never read Abraham saying to God, “Move, really? Why do you want me to move? I like it here, my family and friends are here!” Instead, we are told that Abraham “obeyed and went” (Hebrews 11:8, Genesis 12:4). I have to admit that when we have been called to move, I have found myself asking God why; however, I have also been blessed when I have obeyed the call.
I will be looking at Abraham for a few days, but I guess what I am pulling out today is the call of obedience to leave our comfort zones comes from faith. Sometimes that means a change in jobs, sometimes that means answering a call to ministry, sometimes it means following God’s call to move. Whatever it is, at some point in our walk with God, He is going to call us to take a leap of faith and make a move from what is comfortable. We then come to a place where our source of comfort comes from the peace that surpasses all understanding when we are walking in faith in God. I will be the first to say that I often find myself finding comfort in my friends, family, and the predictable rather than turning to God. It is when I am taken out of my comfort zone that I find myself relying on Him. So in essence, stretching the limits of my comfort zone also stretches my faith.
My prayer for today is that I would not become too comfortable or complacent to follow God’s call wherever that may be.