One year ago today, Randy and I both knew that our time in California was over. We were being called to leave. When his job was alleviated in early December, we began to pray and ask God what He wanted for us. We had no desire to leave California, as it had quickly become such a refuge and we felt totally at home there. We had precious friends that we felt like we had known for years, as they had taken us in as if we had always been a part of their lives. We felt secure, rested and felt that we had been where God placed us 3 1/2 years before that day. But early that morning, Jan 14th, 2014, we got a phone call at 7 a.m. from Jodi, our daughter. She read us a devotion from Streams in the Desert and said that she felt that God had led her to call us and read it to us. As she did, I felt in my heart that maybe this was the Lord’s way of telling us that it was truly time for us to go. But, then again, I did not want to listen to what she was reading. About 3 hours later, the phone rings and it is a friend we attend church with. We hardly see her because of health reasons, she doesn’t get to be there a lot, but she is a real prayer warrior. Her name is Sue and she called and said, “Trudy, the Lord laid upon my heart this devotion this morning and I felt led to call you and read it to you.” As she began to read, I began to cry, as it was the same devotion Jodi had called 3 hours earlier and read. Both Randy and I knew that God was speaking to us through this devotion and that He was taking us back to Dallas. We learned along time ago that being obedient to what God is directing is a lot easier than trying to do life on our own and then having to suffer the consequences of disobedience. His will is always perfect, sometimes not easy, but in the long run, it is always best as He knows and loves us more than we can imagine. So we knew that day, that we would be leaving California and the people that we had become so close to in that short amount of time. Our hearts were torn, but knowing that when you live life with God at the wheel, it is an adventure, never boring and we knew that He had a plan. So we began the adventure of closing that chapter of our lives and on to the next. It is a year ago today that this devotion changed our path, but looking back, we can certainly see God’s Hand over our lives and His continued provision and blessing. Here is the devotion.
“When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them.” John 10:4
Taken from Streams in the Desert
This is intensely difficult work for Him and for us. It is difficult for us to go, but equally difficult for Him to cause us pain. Yet it must be done. It would not be in our best interest to always remain in one happy and comfortable location. Therefore He moves us forward. The shepherd leaves the fold so the sheep will move on to the vitalizing mountain slopes. In the same way, laborers must be driven out into the harvest or else the golden grain would spoil.
But take heart. It could never be better to stay once He determines otherwise; if the loving hand of the Father moves us forward, it must be best. Forward in His name, to green pastures, quiet waters and mountain tops. He goes on ahead of us. So whatever awaits us is encountered first by Him and the eye of faith can always discern His majestic presence out in front. When His presence cannot be seen, it is dangerous to move ahead. Comfort your heart with the fact that The Savior has Himself experienced all the trials He asks you to endure. HE would not ask you to pass through them unless He was sure that the paths were not too difficult or strenuous for you.
This is the blessed life; not anxious to see far down the road, not overly concerned about the next step, not eager to choose the path nor weighted down with the heavy responsibilities of the future, but quietly following the Shepherd…one step at a time.
This is what we pray that we will do; allow Him to lead us, one step at a time, knowing and trusting Him every step of the way.
We are learning that truly, when you cannot see His Hand, we can always trust His Heart.