The hubster and I have been doing well with building each other up and encouraging each other through this process. I've learned to trust and follow his leadership more than I have in the past as well. I tend to be pretty stubborn and independent with big decisions. I know what I want and I go after it. Presently, though, I'm learning to let go of the "me" stuff and see things from my husband's perspective as well as my own.
About a month ago, my husband asked that we take a day off from our searching and stalking websites to be in intentional prayer instead. I did as he requested and I was so encouraged by a scripture I read that day. Matthew 7:7-11 says,
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!".
I was so encouraged by this scripture. It was as if I was given permission to ask God to help us find a house. And of course I can ask Him about everything, but I felt unworthy of something as great as a house. After this day in prayer, though, I held on to the verse that said, "Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?". As a mom, I completely understand that. If my children ask me for something to eat, I'm not going to head outside and grab a handful of gravel. Instead, I'm going to give them something good.
Yesterday, though, this idea came full circle for me. I had been holding on to that scripture but still getting answers of "Not this house" in our hunt. Oh, how frustrating that was for me. Then, our guest speaker at church gave me a brand new perspective and I finally "get it".
He shared from Matthew 15:21-28. The passage is about a Canaanite woman who comes to Jesus asking Him for healing for her daughter. Her faith is tested during their exchange to the point where Jesus not only tells her "No", but He says to her, "It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs". You or I may get offended at a statement like that but allow me to shed some light on it. The word used for dog in Greek is translated to "puppy". It was typical of families to take in puppies to care for until they were mature and then they were let go again. A puppy in the house would often eat crumbs and scraps that fall beneath the table just as they do today.
The woman responds to Jesus by saying, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table". This is where she shows an understanding of her faith...and where I finally understood something, myself. Just a crumb of God's grace is enough to do a miracle.
You see, I had been holding on to the first passage of scripture. I would pray "God, I know if I ask you for bread you won't give me a stone. I can ask you for a house and know you won't give me something that doesn't meet the needs of my family." If I can be honest, though, I began to ask Him for too much. I looked for nicer and bigger homes. I wanted to move to a "nicer" area. In short, I was asking for a big, fat loaf of bread when I shouldn't be so proud as to ask for more than a crumb.
It really sunk in when I was reading information that came to me about our sponsor child last night. She's only 12 and has so many responsibilities...and lives with far less than I have. Shame on me to look for a BIG house with all the bells and whistles. Shame on me to want to own something I can take pride in to the extent of "look at what I have". No. God will provide a home for us...I believe that with all my heart. However, He's not in the business of building up my kingdom. The house we will buy will be a home that brings glory to God. It will be a testimony to His faithfulness and a place where we will raise our family to walk in His ways.
How could I properly teach my children about God's grace and provision if I continued to act so spoiled?
I now understand that I can ask Him for our next home...but I must come humbly and willing to shut myself down so I can focus on what it is God would have for my family.
Not my will, but HIS be done.