Trusting God when the familiar changes

(Photo: Unsplash/Lea Böhm)

What do you do when the familiar changes?

In January 2008, I married a military man who is called to serve God by serving his country. This means I have the privilege of moving every 2-3 years. Each move provides new scenery, a new home to enjoy, and the honor of meeting new people.

However, finding a new church, play group, childcare, and doctors can become tiring. Loneliness happens. The longing to put down roots and to become "established" overwhelms my heart each time our zip code changes.

As I reflected on this the other day, I was reminded of what David wrote in Psalm 27:4:

"One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple."

What beautiful yet revealing words these are! If you read through the entire 27th Psalm, you will notice that David believed God would deliver him from his enemies. He was confident in God. I am sure he was weary from the physical and verbal attacks of his enemies (see Ps. 27: 2, 3, 12).

But something on this particular day caused him to re-focus. He wanted to seek God. He wanted to listen for God. He wanted to wait on God. David wanted to dwell in that which is immovable.

Now, if I were in David's shoes, I would be anxious. I would be consumed with how to rid the "evildoers" pursuing me. I would call my best friend for comfort or consult the GPS to regain my sense of direction. Yet, I am beginning to understand why David penned these words.

(Photo: Unsplash/Scott Webb)

While I do not have physical enemies pursuing me as David did, my enemies are of an emotional kind. Their names: anxiety and loneliness. As the moving boxes are unpacked, they attempt to make my new home their new home also.

This is why Psalm 27:4 is becoming precious to me. It helps me to re-focus on the "one thing" I need to seek amidst the upheaval: God's presence. He alone is the best source of comfort and direction for me. In Him I no longer feel uprooted but safe and secure. He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for me, so I could be "established" in His presence here on earth and for all of eternity.

Like David, I am confident that God can protect my heart and mind from the enemies that pursue me. These truths are what I will focus on when my earthly home changes once again. Doing so is the key to being still while moving.

Dear Lord, You are beautiful, trustworthy, and good. I thank you for allowing me to dwell with you for the rest of my days. Please make your presence known to me Father. Forgive me when I forget to seek you first. Help me to stay focused on who you are and on the perfect plans you have for my life. I love you above all else. Amen.

For further reflection:

~Whether or not your zip code changes frequently, we are all "moving" spiritually: either closer or further away from an intimate relationship with the God who loves us. Is there a trial, a sin pattern, health issue, or relationship that Jesus could be using to move you closer to Him? How are you choosing to handle it?

~What do you think "being in God's presence" means or looks like? Perhaps you desire to be still in God's presence but struggle with being still before Him. (Believe me, I understand!) Why do you think the discipline of "being still" (some would call it meditation) is a challenge for people in general, or for you personally?

For further study:

~Take some time to read through Psalm 27. Do any of the remaining verses challenge or encourage you and why?

~Memorize and meditate on Psalm 27:4 throughout the coming week. Take some time to pray and journal about this verse or any other of the verses in Psalm 27 that speak to you.

Tracy Steel is the author of A Redesigned Life, and Images of His Beauty, a 10-week Bible study for young women that focuses on identity, overcoming and healing through Christ, and bearing the image of Christ. Originally posted on