This week Jeanine and I have been looking at apartments. We need to move at the end of next month and we are trying to find a place where we can see ourselves and our children living for the next few years, God willing. It is a challenge – there are features in a dwelling that are necessities, features that are preferences and features that are luxuries – and these features interplay with cost and location. Do we live where we can comfortably afford the rent, even if it is in a less-than-desirable neighborhood? Do we really need a washer and dryer on property or a dishwasher in the kitchen (for those keeping score, one is a necessity and the other is a preference)? Can we survive without the luxury of a dining room so that we can enjoy the preference of four bedrooms? Where does keeping the younger kids in their present schools fall within our priorities?
Needless to say, these questions (and their gelatinous nature) and these decisions (not just on our part, but also on the part of the homeowners) are keeping my wife and me up at night with anxious thoughts. I’d like to say that I could be happy wherever we move, but I have a nagging feeling that I may not be happy just anywhere. I want to say that I am trusting in the Lord to guide our steps in the process, but I also feel that I am dragging my feet along the way. What can I do to lessen these feelings of dread and fear?
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Honestly, I simply need to release it. These concerns and apprehensions that I am holding onto like a child’s security blanket I just need to hand over to God, knowing that He will address these concerns and implement His loving plan for my future. This, frankly, is difficult for me: I find it hard to ride in a car that I am not driving; how can I be expected to give up control of my whole life? And that is the reason I have had more than a few sleepless nights recently. I am greatly concerned and anxious about things that are truly beyond my control. The tension in my life is not about moving (or about the logistics of trucks and boxes and calendars) but about seeking to manage what I cannot manage.
It is somewhat like what my wife and youngest son did the other day – they tried to finish all the puzzles in his room before they were packed into boxes. Some of the puzzles were missing pieces (including some of the ‘crucial to solving’ edges) and try as they might, their task could not be completed. Did they worry, fret or frown because the job was left undone? Did the unfinished puzzle consume their thoughts? No – those puzzles were simply set aside, destined for the recycling bin, and they moved onto the next ones. I can only work with what I’ve got and trust that God will allow me the pieces of this puzzle called life when He knows I am ready to place them in.
We will likely be making some decisions this weekend. If you are a person who prays, please consider lifting my family (and our living situation) before the throne. And if you are like me, trying to ‘cast and claim His care’, let me know how I can pray for you. It’ll give me something different (and better) to focus on should I find myself still unable to sleep.