And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
The above verse has special meaning to our family right now. We are being reminded once again how we are totally dependent on God’s provision.
Let me start at the beginning. Most of you are aware that the house we were renting got sold out from under us back in May. Since then we have been living in the home graciously provided for us by a missionary couple who are on furlough. They return at the end of January.
For the past month, we have been planning on renting a house close to the seminary. It is owned by an elderly couple who are planning on moving to smaller, more manageable quarters in January.
Or I should say, “were planning”. The last time we talked to them, they were gung-ho for us to move into the house. They told us to come back after Christmas in order to set a date when we could move in. Therefore, on December 26th, I came knocking on their door. The lady of the house answered, and after we exchanged pleasantries, she dropped the bomb:
“My husband asks if you can come back after new years, because we have not talked to our daughter yet to find out what she thinks about us moving, and we have not settled on a place to live.”
I was floored. They had always made it clear that they had already had a place to go, and had never intimated that they were needing their children’s approval first.
This had all the appearances of the beginnings of a Brazilian way of letting someone down easy. It happens all the time. For example, let’s say someone agrees to fix your computer on such and such a day. You call, and they say “Oh, today is not good. Call tomorrow.” You call tomorrow, and you hear a story about how the piece that they need has not arrived, and it will take a couple of weeks. If you are persistent enough to call back in a couple of weeks you will get the bad news that the piece is no longer available.
Of course, the guy knew it was not available shortly after he agreed to fix your computer, but he did not want to lose face by saying so, so he plays a delaying game in the hopes that you will get the message.
Back to the house. I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but both Itacyara and I are fairly sure that the decision not to rent it has already been made, and now the face saving(!) delaying dance has begun.
The only detail is that we really need a place to live. Today I acted on a lead, and found a beautiful house that–according to my sources–was well within our price range. Upon further research, however, we discovered that our sources were less than accurate. The actual rental cost came out to nearly three times what we had originally been told–way out of our price range.
So here we are. Tomorrow Itacyara and I will take a day off and traipse all over town (actually, two towns) looking for rental units that will meet our needs. Meanwhile, we have two major camp events to plan for February, reports to write for the BMM field conference in January, a message to prepare for Sunday, and…well…you get the idea.
On the day after Christmas, while I was talking with the lady who owns the house we had originally planned on renting, I explained to her the tough place this delay was putting us in. She replied by saying “It’s ok, Jesus will take care of you.” I must admit, that phrase was not appreciated by me at the moment.
Yet, while she is an unbeliever, she was unintentionally correct. We are in Christ’s hands. He has never left us homeless before.
I started out writing simply to ask for your prayers. As sometimes happens, I got carried away. We do appreciate your prayers. I am looking forward to writing in a few weeks to tell you how God intervened on our behalf. Whatever happens, we are determined to trust Him, praise Him, and love Him.