We don’t like when our schedules or homes get out of whack, or when unforeseen challenges throw us for a loop.
Feeling settled is a wonderful thing. After all, we were originally created to live a settled life in a beautiful garden with God. We look forward to the day God will once again settle all things. But is it possible that in the here and now, our overwhelming desire to feel settled may cause us to miss out on what God wants to give us?
As I was reading my Bible recently, it dawned on me – not one hero of the faith lived an especially “settled” life. For example, Abraham was called to leave all he knew, his land, home, and family. Hebrews 11:8 tells us,
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” I wonder what he would have missed out on if he’d told God, “No thanks. I’m settled here.”
Although Moses was raised by Pharaoh’s daughter, he didn’t settle into a cushy palace life. Scripture tells us, “By faith, he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11: 27). Staying in the palace certainly would have been more comfortable than wandering the desert for 40 years, but what impact would his life have had if he’d ultimately settled in the palace, or later in Midian?
And how about Rahab? I doubt she lacked a steady clientele. But still, she chose what appeared to be an unsettled path, and followed God.
I wonder how many decisions I make out of my desire to remain and feel settled? I’m pondering this as a friend just texted to tell me she and her family are about to head overseas for long-term missions service. Convicting.
Then again, as many of you know from experience, sometimes we don’t get much say in the matter. Sometimes things just happen in our lives and we weren’t even given the chance to think about how it might affect our lives and the lives of our kids. We don’t get to weigh the costs and benefits of forfeiting a settled portion of our lives.
Thankfully, scripture has some amazing examples of that, too.
Soon after Joseph settled into a great job at Potiphar’s house, he was yanked from his position and thrown into prison.
Ruth lost her husband.
Daniel was faithful to God and still carried off to Babylon with the rest of the exiles.
While their circumstances differ, each of these individuals had one thing in common. Each had a settled assurance that God was with them and working through their unsettledness. God, not their situation, was their anchor. Not only did he carry each of them through, he worked it all out for their good and the good of his people.
So what is God calling you to that seems to threaten a “settled” part of life? What settled area is he asking you to leave behind? Maybe it’s a physical location, but could it be a habit? A relationship? A job or your kids’ school?
Or what new situation are you in now that’s making you feel unsettled? A new job or town? A recent loss or a mess that’s landed at your feet? A diagnosis?
Hebrews 6:19 describes Jesus as “a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul.” He is faithful, solid, unchanging. If he’s nudging you toward the unknown, don’t settle for the settled life. And if the unsettling has come barreling into your life uninvited, you can know Jesus will carry you through because his victory – and yours through him – was settled at the cross.