Most of my friends reading this blog know that we have been praying for 3 1/2 years for the Lord to open up a larger rental home in our community. It has been a long and interesting process – praying, waiting, prayer walking, talking to realtors, praying waiting and waiting and waiting. The communities on either side of us have had some great rental homes; but there has not been one single larger rental home in our neighborhood (our kids’ school area) for the time we have been looking.
Throughout this process, though, I have sensed the Lord’s encouragement for two things: a) believe that He WILL in his timing provide a new home for us (read of God’s special promise to me about this here-skip down to the last point of that entry); and b) trust Him with a heart of contentment until that time. Not always easy! My friend Mary reminded me a year or so ago how long Sarah and Abraham had to wait for God’s promise to them of a son. Waiting and contentment are two strange bedfellows that all of us need to become more comfortable with. As I’ve thought back on my forty-seven years of living, I realized that I’ve had to wait years for all the best blessings God has brought me — my great husband, and four wonderful children. Waiting can be a great thing; but it is hard and not always a comfortable fit with contentment.
Last year two friends from our community, who happen to be sisters, took my visiting friend Praise and I to a wonderful onsen (hotsprings – read that hilarious story here). On the way home Suga and her sister were talking and mentioned that their father’s cousin’s empty house in our neighborhood would be perfect for us. OF COURSE my ears perked up; we drove by it – and that was the beginning of me loving this strange and peculiar house that is pink and grayish-purple and surrounded by a huge black fence. (See two photos from Google Earth below for those who have tried to picture this thing. What you can see is as much as we have yet to see of this house!)
Their mother called the cousin-owner. He said he would think about it. I was thrilled. Excited. Fasted, prayed; walked around the house numerous times. Others prayed too. Two weeks later, the owner came back and said no- he didn’t want to fix it up and deal with all of that.
I was somewhat devestated, but began to pray that he would change his mind. One month later, another neighbor friend who knows the owner called the family to say that perhaps we could pay some of the initial costs to fix it up. Before the offer was even out of her mouth, his wife said flatly, “We aren’t interested in anyone living there.” Case closed.
But this summer, as we continued to pray during our time in the U.S. for God’s will concerning our house, and wonder if we should be thinking about some other option we hadn’t thought of (different neighborhood? asking our current house owner if we could add on?) I continued to think about this pink/purple house. And pray for the owner to change his heart. When we came back in September, one Sunday morning I walked around the house and the block eight times (seven somehow didn’t feel like quite enough) – continuing to pray that God would open this home up for us somehow.
Last Thursday, Suga called me. Her mom, one year later, had called the owner one more time, and asked him to reconsider. We were a bit shocked they had done this – AND that his response was, in addition to several questions (how much rent are we willing to pay? how long are we intending to live there?) that he was willing to meet with us to talk about this option.
I could hardly sleep that night! Sue being Sue, I had already arranged the furniture in this home that we have yet to see the inside of! But — bring on the waiting — we have since been waiting now for ten days with no word from Suga or the owner.
On Thursday, my friend Lawson sent me an email with a Bible verse for me. It promptly was written on our kitchen chalkboard: “He brought me to a spacious place, he rescued me because he delights in me” (Psalm 18:19). What a wonderful promise! Whether or not it is this pink/purple home, God’s continued promise that he WILL provide a more spacious place for us. I believe that promise with my whole heart.
This morning, doing my QT study, A Heart That Dances… studying about David and how he experienced intimacy with God. My assigned reading today was 2 Samuel 22… I was reading it and stunned to find my new verse here: “He brought me out into a spacious place; he delivered me, because he delights in me.” It was another one of those amazing times of sensing the very real, near-palpable presence of my loving Father. I never really knew this verse before; I certainly did not know it was also in 2 Samuel. God knows that I am a not-so-patient wait-er. That I needed to be reminded of His promise to me. That I can be assured that He delights in me; that He WILL provide for us in his timing, and His way. We do not always know when God gives a promise how long we will wait, but we can be assured that “This God– his way is perfect; the promise of the Lord proves true” (2 Sam 22:31).