I would like to go home to England for a visit. I would like to take my family back to Plymouth and show them the ocean and the moors. However, for some reason I am often hindered. I would like to sell our house in McHenry and drop the two hour commute, but each time our house is on the market it doesn’t seem to go well. We were hindered from selling our house last time because the houses around us went into foreclosure and the housing prices in McHenry plummeted. This time we have had contracts on a house in Chicago and a contract on our house, but both have fallen through within 24 hours. I feel hindered. In Romans 15, Paul had a feeling that God was hindering him, and I identify.
We are hindered when we move forward with plans that are not God’s design for us. I believe that we can push our way forward and God will allow us to make mistakes but, if we are sensitive to The Spirit orchestrating the environment, we can see God closing some doors to open others. In Romans 15, Paul knew that he could not go to Rome because he had to go to Jerusalem. Knowing why some doors are closed and others are open brings some peace. James explains in his book that anyone who lacks wisdom should ask God and God will give him insight in response to trials of various kinds. In our desire to sell our house we do not have that insight yet. However, we received some peace when the second contract fell through. It gave us insight as to why the first contract might have fallen through. Why both contracts fell through, though baffles us. We have a lovely house that has been improved over the years, but people don’t want it. Meanwhile we still have a total of 4 hours in commute each day. Either we are choosing to stay at the same job when we should be looking at other jobs, or we are not accepting a commute that God wants for us. We had assumed that 4 hours in the car each day was a waste, especially when we feel called to homeschool. We feel ‘hindered’. However, we do not feel abandoned. We wrestle with circumstances and we wrestle with God, but we are not isolated.
Please pray for us, if you feel led. We could do with the wisdom that God gives. However, these trials do develop our character. We have to find more patience, more endurance, and we have to give up amassing some savings so that we can make more improvements on the home so that it is salable. A life of simplicity and patience may be the result of being hindered coming to England or hindered moving house. According to James, that would be worth more than gold.
This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. 23 But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, 24 I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while.25 At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27 For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings. 28 When therefore I have completed this and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will leave for Spain by way of you. 29 I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
30 I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, 31 that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33 May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
After reading this with Kelli, my wife, I read her blog post “Making Sense of Suddenly Slammed Doors.” It blends well with my reflections, although the writing in her case is more crafted.
Trying to go ahead of God is an ill advised path on which to walk. We have friends who seem to be doing that now. The love Japan and since it didn’t seem God was making a way for them to move there, they decided to devise a plan on their own. Only one could get a job so only part of the family went; the other stayed behind. Hopefully the lesson to wait upon God or to be content won’t be too painful.
We will be praying for you Peter. I remember you helping us and praying for us as we were going through a difficult time where a deal on our house fell through and we were on the brink of going into the mission field. In the end God worked out all the details. It wasn’t what we expected but He took care of us. We will be praying for wisdom for you and your family.
Proverbs 13:12 and Luke 24 came to mind as i read this..(.v16) they were sad and (v24)
“We had hoped”.
Yes, i will count it an honor to pray for your family with so many others at the throne of Grace…and will look forward to reading how God answers.
When hopes are hindered or “deferred” we can pray and ask Him to do what only He is able to do for us….”to make the bitter waters sweet” somehow….for His Name’s sake.
Also, Lord we do not know what to do but our eyes are on You.
2 Chronicles 20:12