My family recently relocated to another area of our state. My wife received a job offer we felt we could not turn down. After working for twenty years in traditional, salaried positions, I am embarking on several self-employed opportunities with multiple income streams. Though we live in the same state, we moved 100 miles into a different region.
Suddenly, we find ourselves in unfamiliar-feeling territory in several areas of life. Gone are the usual restaurants, shops, and local flavors. The move forced us to quickly learn new roads, new places to buy groceries, and a new church. Our children started attending three new schools. After living in an urban area, we now reside in a rural community. My oldest teenager came home and said, “Dad, the school lets students drive their tractors to school one day a year!” We find ourselves thinking with Dorothy, “Toto, we are not in Kansas, anymore.”
The Bible says in the book of Haggai, ““Be strong, all you people of the land — this is the Lord’s declaration. Work! For I am with you” (Haggai 2:4 CSB). Haggai preached to people marked by massive changes. Having lived in captivity for many years, they relocated to their homeland. However, leaving an established society, they arrived in an area marked by years of neglect, erosion, and decay. The society needed rebuilding, and it would take a lot of work. The Lord speaks a simple reminder and exhortation to them – I am with you, so get to work!
Author and teacher Steve Farrar writes, “The reason we men find ourselves in these dicey situations is because God is continually moving us to trust Him. It’s all about trust.”
When life feels unstable, marked by unfamiliar changes, the temptation comes to cower and sit. God reminds us instead to mentally choose to believe in His constant, remaining presence. The changes in our lives do not surprise Him. We can symbolically take His hand and get to work. Take the next step. Write down the next goal. Meet the next appointment. As we do, He remains faithful, and the work gets done step by step.