Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Not on the Map

There are times when the path is straight and obvious and paved with gold.  We witnessed that about a year ago when Bill’s job out of the blue was transferred – out of all the places on earth –to seven miles from where our first grandbaby Maggie would be born.  People who heard our story, even people we did not know, marveled and said, “Look at God’s hand in this.”  We rejoiced daily for the opportunity to live so close to three of our girls and our latest little sweetie pie.  Grandparenting has exceeded our expectations, and we looked forward to baking cookies, spontaneous visits to the zoo, and our time-honored family ritual of Saturday morning pancakes.  The puzzle piece fit perfectly into our desire to be an active part of our grandchildren’s lives.  We were ready to tack on this story, “And they lived happily ever after.”


There are times when the path is sweet and evident.  But there also are times when you just have to trust the LORD, hold onto Him with both hands, and KNOW that His hand is still upon you.  This is one of them.  Last week Beth and Gary’s house went on the market.  It’s official.  The sign is in the yard.  They are moving to Cleveland.  Gary has been blessed with a new position which will, so to speak, enlarge his tent.  We will go from seeing Maggie sometimes several times a day to now several times a year.  She will not live so close that I can stop by on a run or errands.  She will be six hours away on the interstate highway headed due East.


And still, God is in control.  When Beth and Gary first told us of their impending move, the thought crossed my mind, “I have seen too much to question God in this.”  There have been a lot of twists and turns on our path when we could not see what was coming.  This is another.  A couple of weeks ago, Bill and I were hiking a trail in the Smokies which turned out to be not what we expected.  According to the trailbook, it was a pleasant walk in the National Park, not too long, not too steep, with scenic stream crossings and groves of trees.  We forgot to bring our hiking poles, but that was ok, because about halfway into the hike, we realized that we needed a chainsaw instead.  It had been a hard winter, and there were trees and branches down across the trail, making it difficult to pass through, and in a few places, difficult to even see the trail at all.  It was not what we anticipated.  And yet, it was still a trail.   Sometimes you just have to hang in there.


And so, the adventure continues, not as we would have chosen from where we stand now, not as we expected, another path branching off from this one.  We rejoice in the seven months that we have lived close to Maggie, Beth and Gary.  We rejoice that Laura and Hannah are nearby.  And we rejoice because we know that God knows what He is doing…and we don’t.  We can’t see clearly the path that we are on…not any one of us.    And so, this posting is not a “Woe is me,” but “Whoa, God is God.”  He just has to remind us of that ever so often.  And that the story is not over yet.

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