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When preparation becomes presumption

We have purchased a home, almost.  We will have the keys Thursday, last week…Monday, next week…tomorrow…will we ever have keys?  We are moving…somewhere.  Packing must begin, or should we wait?  Moving truck…we need to schedule a moving truck.  It is time to complete the forwarding order on our address, or is it?  Washer and Dryer…we found them!  Should we order and schedule delivery? Refrigerator, shop for bargains and schedule delivery? Be prepared…right?

Anyone who has ever purchased a home can recognize this struggle.  As you may have guessed, we are in the process right now.  The question I am asking myself is, at what point does preparation become presumption?    When yet another delay in Escrow closing sent me into tears yesterday, this question came to mind. Has my preparation become presumption?  Where has my trust in the Lord gone?

Anyone who knows even a little about me knows that I like to be prepared.  The desire to be organized runs deep within me.  I like to be on time, actually early.  Everything must have a place.  Our schedule needs to be planned ahead…so I can be prepared enough to be spontaneous.  So, when it comes to moving…why would I be any different.  Yet, now I am pondering, in my quest for a smooth transition, have I crossed over into the world of presumption?

James 4:13 says, “Come now you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow.  For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance.  All such boasting is evil.  Therefore to him who knows to do good (living in light of God’s will) and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

This passage is a sobering reminder that our lives are short.  We do not know the end from the beginning, but God does.  We must affirm in our heart and words that His will reigns.  While I have been doing that much of the time, I can see that in my own “prepared” way, I “knew” what was going to happen.  My “expectation” was based on what I could see (Escrow closing early or even on time) and not on what God may be doing behind the scenes.  Thus, instead of a settled trust in the Lord at the news of another delay, tears and disappointment appeared.

2 Peter 2:4-10 gives some specific examples of how God both judges the sinner and delivers the righteous.  It contains this reminder, “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day-to-day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority.  They are presumptuous, self-willed.” 

The final words of this passage describe the ungodly as “presumptuous and self-willed”.   While again, I would say that much of the time God has had a firm hold on my perspective, these words serve as a warning to me.  I do not want to be described by the same words as those who “despise authority”.  I do not want to be self-willed. I want to be like the righteous who can trust that God knows how to deliver us.

While the answer to this question really can’t be solved right now, I can say that the Lord has, once again, reminded me that His will is always best.  He is always trustworthy. He is always faithful…even while we still await the close of Escrow, reschedule our appliance delivery – again, continue to eat off of paper plates, and hear our voices echo throughout our now nearly empty home.  He is completely good and He loves us and this is His best for us today. Praise be to our trustworthy LORD who has loved us with an everlasting love that will not fade away.

One Response

  1. Lauren says:

    You are truly a wonderful person to look at all of this with this viewpoint, Diane. I don’t see many clients who understand that everything happens for a reason, and that we don’t always understand that reason. Who knows, maybe if you were to have moved this weekend there would have been a terrible accident or some such. I know you will get your home soon, and I pray that He blesses you all with every happiness in it.


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