“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8.
Over the last eight weeks my life has changed. I left a good and flourishing life in New York. I’ve had to say farewell to close friends and that has been painful. I have made painful changes before. But this was different, I felt a divine intensity pushing me.
This past July, my wife, Mary, our two boys, Oscar and Oliver, ages four and three respectively, made our yearly vacation home to Ohio. That meant we drove to Cleveland for her family or Cincinnati for mine. We loved coming to Ohio, and making memories here. For certainly the gulf of lost memories with family was widening as the years mounted, but when things are going fine, why upset the apple cart? When we returned home after this vacation, as we pulled up our driveway, we looked at each other and knew this was no longer our home.
The following week, my wife complained that she was incredibly distracted and couldn’t stop looking for work in Cincy. I didn’t dissuade her from being distracted. I felt it too. A week later she had a job. We snapped into action. And that, my friends, is an understatement. In less than five weeks from packing the first box to unloading the truck, we both had landed jobs, got our kids in school, and maneuvered a thousand other details- it all went off without a hitch.
And through those five weeks we knew we weren’t alone! We were being fed by an insuppressible joy! We were elated that we would be so close to family, creating memories. And I still hadn’t heard of Hyde Park UMC yet. However, we were not immune to the uncertain, the fear of the unknown. We did not know if we would find housing in Cincy, or a multitude of other stresses. But deep inside us we just kept moving forward knowing that questions would be answered and that no matter what, the answers would be fine.
On the phone each night, talking to one another seven hundred miles apart, we would bolster each other with a comforting reminder, “God’s got this.”
I admit, I was nervous during that time. I hadn’t a job. And I like to work. And then the job listing appeared, from my wife, in an email. Worship and Praise Leader/Producer. The job had all the ingredients of my vocational life, yet what will never cease to humble me, this was all His doing. Here He was directly answering years of prayers. And as this story ends, 10 days later, Praise God, your church offered me the job.
“God’s got this.”
In spite of the clear and tangible signs of His presence in the course of my life, I cannot tell you God’s will. All I can say is that I am certain that there are times when we are tapped into a river of faith so strong, that there is nothing to do but give yourself over to the current and see where you end up. If it means entertaining impossible thoughts, following that still small voice, and doing radical acts of love, so be it. If we believe that Jesus is God’s love incarnate, and we accept the change that Jesus brought and continues to bring millennia later, then there is nothing to fear in change. You might just find the coming “Worship at 11” speaking to your spirit in new ways. Come join us in the river or keep where you are. Either way, God’s got this.