then.and.now

(Edit: this post is a look back to the summer of 2002)

Angel, my kids, the dog, and I said, “Good bye, Tennessee!” as we passed into Missouri. We were on our way to Colorado. God called us there so that I could finish my ministerial studies required for ordination in my tribe. Making the decision was easy once we felt assured that this was God’s deal.

We’d been there before – stepping out into the wild blue yonder with nothing but the assurance that we were doing what God wanted us to do. He blessed that obedience, making every curve straight and opening the doors that needed to be opened. It was awesome to watch God work and experience those blessings. We knew what God did for us during that first leap of faith, and we were confident He’d do it again. It was going to be awesome!

Two days later, we arrive in Colorado Springs, in the evening. The trip had taken much longer than we anticipated. There were a number of extremely dangerous situations, and the realty agent called about the house we were selling – we were going to lose money on it. We were tired. We were frazzled. Nothing has gone the way it was supposed to – nothing. This was not fun yet.

Then we arrive at our home. Wow. Nothing like it was supposed to be. It was a dump. At the end of this journey, this was not the welcoming new home we anticipated. Angel and I were at the edge of giving up and going back to Tennessee. As I stood there, trying to comfort my wife, holding her close, I whispered to God, “What happened? This was your idea. We’re doing what you asked us to do. Why is this happening?”

30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”ย ย  31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” (Numbers 13:30-31)

The people were weary. It was not easy getting where they now stood – at the edge of the promised land. Then when the scouts returned with such bad news, they were ready to go back to Egypt. Well, except for Caleb.

What was the difference? Caleb remembered the promise and the keeper of the promise. He knew that nothing ahead of them was a problem for God. Compared to the power of God, giants might as well be gnats. After all, he did split the sea.

In that dark night in Colorado Springs, we were still very much concerned with the future. It looked harrowing, but we’d been here before, watching God do great things. Could we trust him to do it again?

Ultimately, we did – the foundation upon which we built our trust in God was on that promise made so long ago. He was God then, and He is God now.

Have you ever been on the edge of the promised land? Are you there now?

18 thoughts on “then.and.now”

  1. I see the promised land so clearly on some days and other days it seems so far away, but like you said, He was God then and He is God now. I trust Him through the ups and downs, highs and lows. He’s more than able and more than faithful. Those aren’t just slogans. I have experienced them and I will again if I hold on. Thank you for the encouragement today, Herb. I really needed it.

  2. I am there now. It feels like things are just falling apart, and that doors aren’t being opened, but I know that we are here for a reason; I just wish I knew why. Don’t get me wrong, God has blessed us tremendously. We are just wondering why God hasn’t opened better doors for us financially. We are blessed to have what we have, and we know that God is going to get us through this, it’s just a matter of God’s timing, and not ours. Sometimes we want to just pack up and leave and go back to Tennessee, but we just can’t seem to do it. I often wonder why we don’t, but I guess it’s just not what he wants for us right now. I mean we have things here that we didn’t in Tennessee. Only God knows why…..

  3. God is not man that He should lie. This is such a powerful testimony. May your story be shared for generations to come, a story of how God showed up when all seemed to be lost.

    1. Thanks, Jaycee – it is certainly a story we “retell” often. That was August of 2002 – eight years ago. I’ve had to relive that lesson a few times since, and every time God has proven himself faithful.

  4. This story made me remember who God is. God is God, His yes is yes and His no is no. That is what I read this morning and now I read your story. It’s good remind each other of His faitfulness. It also remembered me that He always comes back at His promises. And there is always a promise that sticks with me and I remind Him of. Not that He has to be remembered but it’s remembering myself and standing on that promise. And that is that He promised He would never forsake me, never leave me and always be with me. With Him I’m stronger than without Him. Thanks for sharing.

    ps: I think God already blessed you with an Angel! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. God does some amazing things. Last year I put on the calendar to preach a series of sermons about trust. When I got to the series, things were happening in my life where I was in needed of remembering to trust God.

      P.S. Yes, Angel is my joy ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. i believe God is perfecting His strength in my weakness as i read this, thank you so much for sharing your testimony.

    its not easy to go to a land where God needs you to be, but thank God for His faithfulness, i guess i have no choice but to hold on to His promise and believe Him to do what He wills as i remain in obedient.

    You just made my day ๐Ÿ™‚
    thanks

  6. I have a similar story – when I came to the church I am at to see if I was a fit for them and they were a fit for me – my wife looked at me with tears in her eyes and said “You are not bringing me to this God forsaken place – you can come but the kids and I are not coming”. I was not all that impressed but knew in my heart that this was where God was calling. Fast forward a year and a half later and a team of wild horses could not drag us out of here. My wife, my kids, and I love it here. God’s ways are always higher than ours!

    Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. Jim, so many families were in similar conflict about Bible College. As the U-Hauls rolled in, some families were excited, some uncertain, and some fighting. Being on the edge of the promised land is hard. If we hold fast, God will be glorified. Thanks for sharing that, Jim.

  7. I have been and at times in the past I can honestly say I, with God’s help, have conquered some mighty giants…but…

    As I read this, I wondered, what is my promised land today? God has not stopped moving and working. What am I being stretched to do today. Will I trust God and allow Him to conquer the road blocks along the way?

    Thank you Herb!

  8. So, so true! We’ve all been there at one time or another. Isn’t it good to know that when we are weak, He is strong! Wonderful post. Thanks for your kind comment on mine.

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