Our family moved this month, not far, just a few blocks. After 17 relocations in 17 years, we have sometimes been called transients, affectionately of course.
While pulling out roots is never easy and packing boxes is hard work, moving has brought good things to our household. We joke that it is a great way to clean house; each move gathered us closer to each other; being in a variety of places and situations has broadened our view of life and widened our horizons and goals; we have a measure of confidence in our ability to face new things because of sheer practice. In fact, the greatest good has come from the relocations I felt the least positive about, helping me to trust God “with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding” or my feelings. (Proverbs 3:5)
Yes, good things have come from being transients.
Moving is also a test. For instance, we have been tested 17 times concerning our stability. Not too many years ago, my sense of security was soundly rooted in things like the place we lived, our friends and our finances. But guess what . . . all of those have changed many times! And we have had to change with them.
Our Fort Saskatchewan residence has been home three times -- with many memories tucked in the corners, yet, without doubt, a dwelling place does not represent stability. In fact, we’ve changed houses so many times that I dare not try to walk around in the dark.
Neither can friends give a permanent sense of security. Either the relationship changes or one side or the other is transferred to Timbuktu.
As for money, it might rest in our nest right now, but I know it has wings. There is no guarantee that it will stay or fly away. Besides, I have been both poor and well off. Neither give inner stability.
No doubt about it, the things of this world change. A person doesn’t have to move to realize that -- just go through an old photo album! When your children start laughing at their grade one pictures, you know it won’t be long before they’ll look at your childhood shots and ask, “Who is this?”
Perhaps the most profound lesson is the one in these lines from an old song: “This old world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through . . . ”
The Bible says God wants Christians to think like that because we actually do not have “a certain dwelling place” on earth. Our “citizenship is in heaven.” As ambassadors for God, we need to remember that we are here only a short time. Therefore, our hearts and minds should be set on heavenly things.
Whenever I bounce from place to place, going from stress to stress, I’m thankful the Lord never changes. He can be depended upon as my anchor; a rock, a solid foundation. He firmly takes hold of His people and calms our spirits with His love. Underneath are His everlasting arms, always there to sustain. The experience of moving has proved His faithfulness to be with us, to care for us. Surely that gives me peace. I may not understand all His design, but I have learned that He will not lead us where He will not keep us - secure in Him.
Some transients have no security, no peace because they too have no certain dwelling place here on earth. But the people of God are transients with a definite resting place. No matter where we live, whether now or after this life is over, moving will never take us away from our Security -- because He is immovable.