“How are you coping with all the changes in your family?”
asked Jeff as he and his friend met for coffee one Saturday morning at Jeff’s house.
“I guess as well as can be expected,” replied Aaron. “My son moved back home after finishing college, and he’s still looking for a job. My daughter and her husband and two kids are living in our basement. They’re working jobs that don’t pay enough for them to rent a place of their own.”
“How is your mother doing since your dad passed away last year?” questioned Jeff as he put a brownie on Aaron’s plate.
“She put the house on the market several months ago. That was one of the hardest decisions for her to make after living in it for forty years.” Aaron paused for a moment. “I just don’t understand it,” he said, shaking his head. “We all prayed about that decision and felt like selling the house was the right thing to do, but now I wonder . . . It’s been on the market for over six months, and no one has even made an offer.”
“Home sales have dramatically slowed in the past year,” Jeff stated as he refilled their coffee cups. “Are you second-guessing yourselves because it hasn’t sold?”
“Well, yeah, we’re starting to because we thought the house would have sold already.” Aaron took a bite of his brownie. “I don’t understand why God hasn’t worked it out.”
“Where will you put your mother when she does finally move in?”
questioned Jeff. “I mean, now that your kids are living with you, it sounds like you already have a full house.”
“It is very crowded when everyone is home at the same time. We practically trip over each other every time we turn around!” Aaron laughed. “Carrie and I are happy that we’ve been able to help out our kids. But once my mom’s house sells, our kids know that they’ll have to find another place to stay.”
“It sounds like it’s been a good thing for your kids that your mother’s house hasn’t sold yet,” offered Jeff.
“That’s true,” said Aaron. “But it’s been hard on my mother because she was beginning to look forward to coming to live with us. She was ready to start a new chapter in her life. So, she feels like she keeps getting jerked back to the past.”
“Even though she believes she’s ready to move ahead, perhaps the Lord knows that your mom needs more time,” stated Jeff.
“I don’t know,” replied Aaron. “When you pray about something and truly believe you’re making the right decision–and you even have peace about it–how do you know it was the decision God wanted you to make if it doesn’t seem to be working out?”
Jeff reached for his Bible on the countertop and turned to the Book of James. “Listen to this: ‘If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him’ (1:5, NIV).”
“So, even though the house hasn’t sold yet, we still made the right decision?” questioned Aaron.
“The Holy Spirit is our counselor and guide, as well as being the Spirit of Truth, so if we start to go in the wrong direction, He will check us.” Jeff took another sip of his coffee. “If you have prayed and taken each step in accordance with God’s will–and I believe that you have–then He is responsible for everything in the future, including the sale of your mother’s house.”
“We’ve continued to pray, and we don’t feel that we should take the house off the market,”
said Aaron. “So, maybe it’s a question of God’s timing. I remember a Scripture passage I learned many years ago in Sunday school: “‘I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands’ (Psalm 31:14–15, NIV).”
“That’s a great passage. I’ll have to remind myself of that the next time I get impatient–like when I’m stuck in rush-hour traffic,” Jeff said with a smile. “In our culture, we tend to look far ahead, to plan for the long-term, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, God usually guides us one step at a time.”
Aaron responded, “I think He keeps the future a mystery so that we’ll trust Him and concentrate on the present.”
“You’re right,” replied Jeff. “If the Lord told me what I should do one year from now, I’d probably run ahead and focus on that, instead of on today’s choices.”
“So, I guess we just trust God and keep taking each step with Him,” added Aaron. “I’m glad we got together this morning, Jeff. It was time well spent.”