Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Following My Shepherd

We've had some interesting and unsettling news of late regarding our time here in the UK. We were informed at the beginning of this week that hubby's plant (he's in manufacturing managment) wants him back sooner rather than later because of some developments that have recently happened there. We have a work visa here in the UK that is valid until December and definitely thought we would be here until at least October.

In a sense we "just got here". We've moved twice in the past two months. Then the news came about yet another relocation as early as possibly the end of May. It's funny, because just the day before at church, feeling yet again lonely and left out, I bemoaned our time here. I was very homesick on Sunday, just longing for something familiar and in a word, easy. But then Monday came, and with it this news. And I was sad. Not sad because I don't long for home, but sad because there are so many things yet to do here; things we want to see and do, people we'd love to get to know better, a culture we'd like to come to love and invest in. Who knows what will happen? And what is God's purpose in all of this --whether in be coming in the first place, staying, or going home much earlier than we'd planned? Only He knows.

For the past two days, since we received this news, I've been questioning our decision to even come here. Did we hear God wrong? But in my heart of hearts, I do not believe we did. Several things confirmed for both hubby and me that God was bringing us here for this season. So, what of this apparent change in God's plan then?

I've been reminded of His sovereignty in all things of late as I've been reading through 1 Samuel and examining the events in the life of David before he took the throne. Was David questioning if he'd heard God right when he was hiding in the cave of Adullum, terrified that Saul would kill him? Perhaps, as he sat there, he recounted his annointing in Bethlehem and his victory over Goliath, the good times he'd spent in Saul's court using the harp to soothe the king. Maybe he was asking God the very same questions that we are asking Him right now. "What are you doing God? We thought we understood your plan." Ah...therein lies the problem. We will never understand His ways. For as Paul reminds us in Romans 11:33, "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unseaerchable are His judgements and His ways past finding out!" Back to David, he must have wondered, "What is a predestined king doing sitting in a cave, hiding from a madman who seeks his very life?" Did David wonder, like us, "How can good come out of this situation?"

In Psalm 142, verse 3, a contemplation of David when he was in the cave of Adullum, I read: "When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then you knew my path." Yes, again, I am reminded of His knowledge of his good plan for me and for my family, even when my spirit is overwhelmed with uncertainty. And then another reminder from Job 23, verse 10: "For He knows the way that I take and when He has tested me I shall come forth as pure gold." Pure. Yes, that's His ultimate goal for me: my purity. And His glory.

The words from this song by the Parachute Band were so comforting to me this morning:

"Lord, when I hear your call deep within my spirit calls, "Yes, I will follow."
Lord when I start to walk through that narrow gate, I cry, "Yes I will follow."
And in the valley of shadows no evil will I fear.
You are the Shepherd of my heart.
I will trust you.
And I go wherever you lead me. Safe in your arms I'll be alright.
How I love you.
And I go wherever you lead me.
Lead me."

Yes, I will continue to follow my sweet Shepherd, wherever that may be. I am his sheep. And he knows the way that I take even when I do not.

Lead on, Father. Lead on.

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