I try to open and close the door fast, but every time one still seems to fly in. They don’t really hurt anything (although I’ve heard they can eat your clothes) but one of the rules we have is that the only animals allowed inside the trailer are the two dogs who have become part of the family. We must defend the sacred domain against intruders, even pesky moths.
We’ve been on the road now for 18 days. We felt called by God to pack up our family and travel – at least until December, potentially much longer – but the reasons were somewhat difficult to explain. One reason flowed out of the high value we place on family unity…a value which had begun to slip with all the busy activities of life. Another reason is a desire to connect with extended family. We are currently staying outside the back door of our three grandchildren, and in November we plan to visit my brother in Washington who I haven’t seen for fifteen years.
But the reason which really justified our travel as ministry is that I believed we would learn things on the road which could then be shared with people around the world. I wasn’t sure what those things would be but I knew there would be unique challenges which God would use to teach us more about what it meant to follow Him. I knew there would be challenges, but I guess I wasn’t expecting them to come so soon.
My wife is a strong (and beautiful) woman, but her back has always been a little fragile. It doesn’t happen often – the last time was about twenty months ago – but when she pulls a muscle in her back she can barely move for days, and days. She probably worked too hard getting us packed. She went through every corner of the house in case God called us to make a more permanent move. She was amazing, but in the process her back was definitely weakened. On day five of our journey she was simply leaning over eating soup when her back said, enough! She has spent most of the last two weeks in pain, and much of the time in bed. Yes, there have been challenges.
One of the “blessings” with a confined space is that it provides “opportunities” to learn about grace and patience. We have now made the transition from a relatively large home with each family member involved in separate activities to living in a travel trailer doing everything together. Let’s just say we have already had lots of opportunities to learn patience.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
There have been definite challenges related to my wife’s back. She seems to be recovering but it’s been a difficult two weeks. But we have also faced challenges in the trailer related to cooking, cleaning, showers, smells, and moths. In the first 18 days I confess I’ve already faced several seasons of frustration and doubt. Many times I’ve thought this is just too hard. But God has been gracious with providing moments of reassurance where I know we are on the right path.
I want to take you along for the ride. There are things I desperately need to learn. And perhaps these lessons can also benefit others. God is always at work conforming us “to the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:29). This IS His plan for His Children. And most of the time the conforming process comes in the form of painful or uncomfortable situations. Let’s allow Him full access to our heart and never miss an opportunity to love, forgive, or show patience and compassion. Let’s seek perfect unity and fully embrace His opportunities for grace.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries