Stability

In 2017 we hammered down the tent pegs again. Starting what we thought would be a long season of doing life with a vibrant body of believers. Setting up our home and settling in to a new rhythm of ministry.  Stability.

The next step

Mid-January of 2019, the quiet promptings of upcoming change became loud. And clear. We prayed for wisdom and assurance of His way forward.

One Sunday our pastor asked the church, “Is your ‘yes’ on the table?” His question only confirmed what our hearts already knew. 

The Lord was leading us to take the next step of obedience.

To pull up the tent pegs. And move.

Sunrise reflected on clouds
My morning view. His mercies are new every morning.

Pondering upheaval

There was immediate joy that followed our “Yes, Lord.” And freedom as we released our future to Him with open hands. 

But one evening I was hanging clothes in our closet and pondering the sudden upheaval. Processing change. 

I thought about our young adult children, who’ve had their share of putting down roots then being uprooted. Having a more permanent address to come home to was a comfort. A landing place in the summer or on holidays. 

Stability.

Sighing to the Lord

I stood in the closet and sighed these concerns to the Lord. Anxious thoughts over interrupted summer plans. The ever changing “permanent address.” Grief from past moves that sometimes weaves its way into current change. 

I slowly headed back to the living room, and sat down to read.

After the lament

Last year I mentioned my tendency to skip over Scripture verses quoted in books. A bad habit that developed during my early years of prolific reading. (In case you missed it, see: Rushing past )  

The habit continued. Even in seminary. I had to discipline myself to read the Word inserted in textbooks about the Word, of all things.  

I bring this up again because that evening after my closet lament, I almost missed a tender word from the Lord.

Almost. 

A word about stability

I started reading where I’d left off in The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield. In the next section was a Scripture passage. 

Well, you know what happened. I was about to skip over it! And get to the rest of Rosaria’s words. 

But in that moment, I was gently reminded: Read the Word. 

So I did.

“The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high;
He will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,
and He will be the stability of your times,
abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is Zion’s treasure” (Isaiah 33:5-6).

Tears flooded my eyes. Such a tender word from the Lord in the midst of instability and upheaval.

“He will be the stability of your times.”  

He is our stability

This past week I’ve sung His praises in the midst of sorting and packing and giving away. Exalted the One who knows our comings and goings. Rested in His sovereignty.

The Lord is our stability. And He is our children’s stability. 

No matter where we hammer down the tent pegs, we abide in Him. And in Him is an abundance of salvation and wisdom and knowledge. 

Stability. Obedience to Him is worth it.

What about you?

Have you experienced joy in taking a next step of obedience? Have you struggled in the midst of change? What is your song of praise today? 

Related posts: Tents and altars ; Place ; Rushing past

52 thoughts on “Stability”

  1. Susan there are so many rejoicing in your Yes! We are so thankful for the Lord leading you both to your next place. I’m glad you live in a tent where pegs come up more easily than a fortress that must be knocked down. It just shows you are ready when He says go.

  2. Valuable insight. Stability in this mobile, modern world is an illusion from human perspective. The only real stability is confidence of abiding and following obediently God’s will, especially when it thrusts you into the heat of the battle for the nations!

  3. Susan, I just love how the Holy Spirit speaks in such a small voice, as he spoke to you while working in your closet and by reminding you to read that verse. You and your family will love wherever God puts the pegs in your tent. I spoke with you and Todd last night and I remind you today of the comfort that comes through knowing who is in charge of making decisions regarding our precious missionaries! I’m especially excited for your move, for some strange reason. I rejoice with the angels that your “Yes” is on the table!

  4. Dan and I are so excited that you and Todd are being obedient to our Lord and willing to move yet again. We have been volunteering in Kenya now for almost 4 years but we are sensing that our time here is over, what is next we don’t know but may we be willing to go where He leads us as you and Todd are willing to pull up those pegs again.

  5. Hey Susan, I loved your blog post, and I am always encouraged by what you write, but this time, I am sad, too, because you being close, has been such a blessing to me in numerous ways: through your prayers when I would send a quick text about Jordan, and just seeing your beautiful face at an event when I was exhausted from care giving, and just knowing your presence here in Birmingham has been such an encouragement to Lindy because it helped her feel that Becca was not so far away on the other side of the world! I was so excited after the first time we got together to share our writings, and hoped we could again when this difficult season in my life slows down, but I trust in all God’s plans for you and Todd, for they are good! I am thankful he allowed y’all to be a part of all our lives in real face time for a short season. I know God has even more amazing plans ahead for you both in this next chapter of your lives, and soon the unfamiliar will be familiar, the home you will create there will be a haven of blessing for your adult children, family, and friends, and God will use your obedience to bring about His glory! We love you and Todd, and Doug and I will miss you both very much! Lisa

  6. I don’t think I’ve seen your blog before, Susan – but so glad I saw this today. I’ve already told you how thrilled I am about Todd’s new place of strategic leadership. So I confess I skip the scriptures in the books, too – oh my. I just finished Lynn Austin’s trilogy about the Jews return from exile to Jerusalem . . . I promise not to skip the passages again! Meanwhile, your 3 children are so experienced at setting up tents that they will be thrilled to visit your new tent in Richmond! My lament is for your mom and dad because it seemed so perfect for you to be near them for once. Yet I know their hearts are thrilled to see this new season of life for you. I never felt once that my parents wished our “tents” were stateside. Well, I could go on and on about your tent pegs – I love the analogy. Love to you both! Joy

  7. Thank you Susan for being so vulnerable so willing to share your thoughts fears even your what ifs you are a blessing and are a blessing to others it has been my privilege to know you and Todd and your dad who we shared the task of making coffee early in the morning

  8. Dear Susan, really love this post! I am overjoyed about this new season for you. I am so glad you both said YES. And you are so right about the Lord being that stability for our kids. This is the first term for us with no kids and the Lord has shown them that He is their gracious Provider and He is faithful. ….even when it’s hard and in struggles that seem so big. God never changes and He surrounds us with His peace.

  9. Beautiful words, Susan. And how have I missed those verses? Our verses for similar occasions were shared with Bill by a friend: “The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.” (Ps. 121:7-8) Sometimes I have gotten tired of the transitions. I didn’t want any more going outs and coming ins. But He reminds me that this life is only for a little while, so stay the course and we can settle down in heaven (or maybe I’m just hoping we can settle down then, lol). The transitions do always bring blessings we didn’t expect as our life path twists and turns. God’s blessings on you and Todd, as well as your children, as you go out and come in once more.

  10. Loved reading this Susan! We are thrilled to hear about your new position. Your being there will bring stability and a great example of what the life of a disciple is. We always appreciated the leadership you and Todd provided. We love you and will be praying for your quick adjustment.

  11. Change is always a challenge to me. I often feel like He has to drag me kicking and screaming. But I’m thankful for change. Otherwise, I’d get stuck in what’s comfortable. Some changes have become “normal.” Travelling back and forth every few years. It’s the big changes in job or other challenges that often get me upset. Once I calm down and pray, the Lord gives me peace. For big changes, He often uses His Word to nudge me or shout at me…

    Your moving again reminds of your earlier post of “Where is Home?” 🙂
    Love you and praying for you!

  12. I’m so thankful for you and Todd. Your obedience of faith and the gifts you have to share with others. And I’m thankful for this new calling because I believe you’ll be such a blessing to the many workers you’ll encourage. Love you.

  13. Susan, the answer yes is hard. Hard for us and those the yes will affect. But, in all things God works for our good and His glory. Your YES is an example as have your lives been from the first time we met. Yes, we are sad that your YES means leaving us but know God will bless your YES.
    By the way, I confess I do the same thing, skipping the verses written into the text. Thanks for sharing- an encouragement to stop and read what God has for me in the verses.

  14. Change is inevitable and I’ve experienced and continue to experience change in many areas of life. Coping would be impossible without an anchor to give stability. “Jesus Christ, is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8. He is that anchor. God bless you and the family in this experience, another of those major changes that comes with your commitment to follow Him.

  15. Stability is something we desire, however obedience trumps it. But in obeying, God gives us the stability we truly need. Thanks for sharing, Susan. We love and thank God for you and Todd.

  16. So thankful for you and Todd and your willingness to follow him and pull up those tent stakes again. Your faithfulness is inspiring 😊

  17. Susan, thank you for sharing and for the invitation to enter your world through your writing. It is such an encouragement in my own personal walk with Him. I’m thankful for you all and for your, “Yes.” I just read this quote tonight in a book by Elizabeth Elliot, “I have discovered that there is no consolation like obedience.” Praying for you all as you move forward in Him.

  18. We were so blessed to hear of your new ministry appointment! Life is full of new “appointments” and we praise the Author of those times and places – knowing that each one molds us more into His likeness.

  19. A relatable and well-spoken word. Thank you for moving, again and always, in step with the pillar of fire and cloud. Your obedience and example bless people you don’t even know yet! like me 😉

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