Friday, May 27, 2011

Praise God

Whenever I have a “crisis of faith” I think about the story in Mark 4: 37-38

A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

These are the very same men who watched all the miracles Jesus performed in his ministry, yet they still fell prey to their flesh, fearing death and assuming Jesus didn’t care.

I think we all do that from time to time. Some more than others, some less.

On Tuesday, I flew down to Austin to secure a new home for my family. In the weeks leading up to the trip, it was really amazing to see all the doors God has opened for us to move down there. Including plugging us in with a great church in Austin, Gateway. One of the fine folks on staff at Gateway introduced us to a Realtor team and they set us up with a custom web interface where we could view homes that fit our criteria.

Now, before I headed down to Austin, Angie and I had played a game of “what would be a great home for our family” and decided that we wanted a combination of our two houses in Phoenix. The place we’d built had a better layout, but the second one had a much nicer fit & finish that really just made life easier on many levels.

The week prior to heading down, our awesome Realtors’ web site had roughly twenty houses for us to chose from that seemed to fit our needs. Then, last Friday, well over half of them went off the market. I went from feeling super confident that I’d have lots of choices to simply hoping God would leave the perfect house open for us. And the doubts started blowing in around the edges, like the winds before a storm.

I landed in Austin on Tuesday and Trey, the husband half of our great Realtor team, picked me up and we dove right into the house hunting. After a few hours and multiple houses, we hadn’t found a single one that would actually work. Some were in neighborhoods that just didn’t seem like a good place for my family, a few others looked like the prior tenants thought the house was an annex for the local dump and the two that were in nice ‘hoods and weren’t trashed inside just didn’t work from a layout standpoint. Since we need two home offices, plus space for Zach, we couldn’t just pick any house. Admittedly, this made it a bit more difficult than it would be for most folks.

I have to be honest and say that at this point I was starting to get discouraged. However, I made the conscious decision to remain faithful. God had opened all these doors; He certainly wasn’t going to close the most crucial one now. I started deciding we could make due if need be with one of the prior houses we’d seen already. I just knew I needed to realize God would take care of us, as He always has.

And, then we found a house that we could make work. It certainly wasn’t what we’d hoped for, but it would provide shelter and get us in Texas so we could find a better place in a year. I didn’t want to have to move again next summer, as we’ve moved way too many times recently, but it was the best option so far and I figured we could get by with it.

Just as I was settling my mind on the fact that we could make this one work, even if we would be settling for something under what we’d hoped to find, I got an email with God opening yet another door. A financial blessing I’d not expected for several weeks (if it came at all) was heading our way and I immediately called Angie back in Minnesota. The two of us decided we could raise our house budget by $100/month based on the blessing God had just given us.

So, we went back to the Realtor site, raised the dollar amount and a handful of new houses popped up. One really jumped out, as it had a car in the driveway that was a twin to one Angie had a few years ago. It’s funny how God knows what to put in a picture to catch our eye. It was as if He was saying “Can you see yourself living here now?”

The Realtor and I headed over to the house and it was just about the perfect hybrid of our two old houses. Now, it wasn’t the greatest house ever, but it met just about all of our criteria and did so with style.

When I walked into this house, I felt a peace come over me, like I knew I was home.

Well, to make a long story short, we had to jump through a lot more hoops than normal, where time and again the wind and waves battered our boat and I found myself slipping back into the thoughts of maybe God didn’t care where we lived or other such flesh laden doubts, but I steeled my mind to have faith and know God would rebuke the wind and waves.

As soon as the plane touched down in Minnesota, Trey called and told me we had gotten the house.

Praise God.

Praise Him in the storms and praise Him when the sun is shining. And, no matter what, always remember God does care about our wants and needs. But, make sure to give them over to Him so He knows you’re sure about it. I’ve found out the hard way if I lose faith and try to take the wheel, my navigation skills aren’t nearly as solid as God’s and I’ll end up going down with the ship. Better to wait for Jesus to move. Because when He does, great things happen.


  1. YAY!!!!! That's FANTASTIC NEWS!!! I can't wait to see your new home. What part of town is it in?

  2. Round Rock. :) Check your email. ;)

  3. I'm grateful that I was able to be part of this journey to Round Rock!
    Welcome to Texas!!

  4. Really happy for you and your family, Mike. Your story brought back memories about the day Valerie and I said goodbye to our New Hampshire home of 27 years to start our new adventure out here in Colorado. I can remember our last minutes in that empty house, looking much like it had on the day we'd first walked through the door. We held hands and bowed our heads in prayer, thanking God for the blessing He'd rained down on that dwelling as we raised our children. Then we asked Him to continue blessing that wonderful place for the new family moving in. With happy tears in our eyes we said Amen and entered the next chapter of our lives.

  5. Trey: That's stuntin' that you signed up just to post on this meh blog. ;)

    Ron: Thanks for the imagery, you should think about writing for a living. ;)