Monday, July 23, 2012

We Are IN the Ark

Divine Provision
I think that here in the US we think God’s provision is supposed to look a certain way.  God should provide a good job, a nice house, 2 cars, nice clothes, plenty of money for a nice vacation, extra funds for entertainment and on and on. 
I think about this and I have a difficult time.  I just know that my family is in the will and plan of God and yet look at some of his provision in our lives (not even to mention those in 3rd world countries). 
  • We have twin children who are allergic/intolerant to food and who have spent the majority of their lives really sick.  God’s provision was not supernatural healing, but insurance coverage for “liquid gold" and then later the GAPS healing protocol
  • When the kids were babies we operated our family with one car – not as though we didn’t need two – with the number of doctor appointments for the children.  Provision was loading up twin babies most mornings and driving Shawn to work so that we would have the car during the day.  (Later provision was God GIVING us a 1999 Saturn, but that is a different story really.)
  • Today with a little over a dozen special foods for the children, we don’t make enough money to feed them, but by the grace of God they have never gone without a single need. 
  • At this point, we literally don’t have the money to provide a safe living environment for the medical needs of our family and yet we are living in a safe environment as we speak.  God’s provision was to move us in with my in-laws. 
  •  A year ago Shawn finished his undergraduate degree and not for lack of trying he has still not been able to get a better paying position within his company.  Somehow I am sure this is part of the Lord's provision for our family. 
In obedience to the voice of God, we moved our independent – sovereign – “leave and cleave” family in with our parents.  This seems like such a backward move – and in many ways it is, but this folks, is provision.
The Ark
What a whirlwind summer this has been.  It seems like a near eternity since we first found out that there was mold in our home.  Though in reality it has only been about three months.  Even so, the Lord gave me complete peace that he was in control of the situation and that he would provide – even supernaturally for our health/medical needs in the interim of remediating the mold.  The Lord spoke to my heart as Abba Father, speaking into my spirit that I was simply waiting for my father to call (and tell me what to do next).
Then the word came – word of the estimate to remediate the mold and repair all of the necessary things in order to prevent the mold from repopulating immediately.  Since we couldn’t give the children their allergy immuno-therapy treatment while living in an environment contaminated with mold, we had decided to allocate the funds from a year’s worth of this treatment toward helping our landlord with the mold repairs.  We were excited to be able to offer that $2200 toward the project.  We were hopeful that this would cover a large portion of the cost.  When the actual cost came in we were shocked and overwhelmed - $30,000 No, I didn’t put the comma in the wrong place. 
It Looks Like We’re Moving
There are a couple of things I KNOW about our landlords.
  • First, these are good people – they don’t come any better.
  • Second, they love the Lord and they do not make hasty decisions.
  • Third, they are invested in our lives – as the parents of my brother’s wife – and as friends of my family and me since I was a kid.  Simply put, they love us.
  • Lastly, in addition to the above facts, I also know that they gave us there home in a time when my family needed a place to live for a price that was a fraction of the market rent.  This was a gift. 
The Lord in his grace and provision prepared my heart the very same day that they told us that they couldn’t fix the mold right now – I already knew.  Although I wanted to cry when I read their letter explaining this, I was completely at peace in my spirit.  Although my flesh wanted to panic, my spirit was at peace.  In the days and weeks to come there would even well-up moments in my “heart” and mind when I was inclined to be angry – but still my SPIRIT was at rest.  The Holy Spirit was no doubt at work in communion with mine. 

We knew it was time to move on.  In my spirit I heard the words of a song, “the Lord has promised good to me…” I heard this as the song of the Lord to my heart – a promise in this situation.

Building the Ark
We began looking for homes to rent the day before we got the news.  There was nothing in the miniscule budget that we have to work within.  We knew that we would have to purchase a home.  Given our budget we figured we could afford a home at about $60,000.  The next day we began driving by the homes in our area in this range.  Some were horrible – some were possible – but they were all old, needing work, and questions remained about the safety of these homes for the  physical health of our family. 
We drove by a home in an undesirable location – it was newer, the price was good – but the location… yikes.  As we were driving away Shawn looked at me and said, “I would sooner move in with my parents than move my family into this area.”  YEAH RIGHT.  I laughed and said, “I would sooner move to Maine.”  I truly thought the idea was laughable – I wasn’t about to move in with anybody.  That very afternoon my husband’s parents were coming over for a cook-out.  I laughingly replayed the conversation for my mother-in-law.  She laughed for a few moments and then she and my father-in-law started informing us that we were certainly welcome.  They started going over the details of how we could make it work. 
I didn’t like this idea, but somehow…I just knew – even in that very moment – that his was the answer to our immediate problem.  I didn’t accept it right then.  The fact that my husband was adamantly against it allowed me to fight the idea in my head – for a short while anyway.   Still, the Lord was working on my heart and within 24 hours I was praying and decided that if this was His plan I would leave it in his hands to change Shawn’s heart.  I am sure that you can guess that is exactly what God did.  It was Saturday when we drove past the house.  By Wednesday when I asked Shawn if he had thought any more about the idea of moving in with his parents, he answered that he had already called his mom about it.  We were on our way to Maine for a week of vacation (paid for by my mom – provision) and we knew that God was moving us in with my in-laws when we got home. 
After talking with my sister-in-law (daughter of our landlords) I knew that there was still one thing the Lord would have to work out.  What would we do with our things?  The very next morning after talking about this with her we got a phone call.  My in-laws had arranged people and trucks to move us, as well as a place to store our things.  This was just one of the many confirmations that we were moving in with Shawn’s parents. 
It took 100 years for Noah to build the ark.  It took only 14 days for us to actually move into this one.
This Truly is Our Ark
Two weeks after moving in with the in-laws our pastor preached on Noah.  He likened the ark to a place of provision, rest, and safety.  He talked about the ark being that place of safety as the storm raged around it.  He told those of us listening to look at the person next to us and tell them, “There may be a storm coming.”  I looked at Shawn and said, “We are IN the middle of the storm!”  We sat there for a moment whispering back and forth about how we don’t feel like we are in a storm.  We feel at rest.  We know that this strange and “backward” move is the Lord’s provision.   “It’s because we are IN the ark,” I said to him. 
He agreed.
A Word From the Lord
Before the move there was a short time when I was truly fighting this whole idea.  But I lived many years outside of the Lord’s plan.  The past handful of years has shown me that I have no interest in living contrary to his plan for my life.  No matter how hard it is, I want to be right in the middle of it.  His plan is not always easy.  I am certain that the ark was no picnic.  I am sure it was hard work, crowded, and seemed to stretch on forever. 
In a short period of time, I decided I would just open my heart the master sculptor.  I opened myself up to allowing him to mold my heart toward his will.  In that time I heard him speak into my heart very clearly.  I heard what I know to be a promise, “I need you to be obedient in this so that I can do what I am trying to do.”  With that statement in the “still small” of my spirit I knew that he was talking about our living situation (at least in part).
I am still not certain what the Lord is doing, but I know that He is in control – and that he has promised “good to me.”


  1. I am about to embark on a smilar journey --- can we talk?

  2. Hi there, my email is :)

  3. I've not had luck getting in touch with you. I could really use the encouragement and perspective. Would you be willing to email me?