Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were born
Or You gave birth to the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
There are a few verses scattered throughout Scripture that I have a tendency to revisit out of need on a somewhat regular basis. The above is one of them: Psalm 90:1-2. It seems to be my natural tendency to seek contentment in places, and especially places I am not currently in, thereby preventing the contentment I long for. Three years ago I pined to live in the very apartment building I now reside in, with its cozy carpets, open floor plan and downtown convenience. Three months ago I struggled to be happy here, longing instead for the charm of hardwood floors, the fancy formality of a separate dining room, and the peace and quiet of a north side neighborhood. I knew we'd have to move from our income-based rental soon, as my recent loss of "student" status would put our montly payment through the roof. For months I attempted planning our next move, scheduled at the end of this month, searching and searching for just the right place for us, expecting God to bring each of my desires to me on a silver platter (happily settled on a granite countertop). It became so overwhelming that I realized, at the end of August, I had to stop. So I did. Beginning on September 1st, with utter reliance on the Spirit, I fasted from apartment-hunting, and it was hard. Till it wasn't. Seeking the "kingdom of God" over "all these things" - after a few weeks of starved discontentment - became my delight (Matthew 6:33). I eventually traded in my anxiety over the future for an excitement about what God might do. Our weekend away, in addition to a birthday excursion for E, also became a culmination of that unsure but excited season.
Sunday evening we came home to find a memo under our door, telling us that our rental rate beginning in November at our current apartment would be much lower than we expected it to be, as our income would still be low enough to achieve the lower rent without the help of my student status. (Sometimes it pays to be poor!) Surprised and unsure what to think, we prayed. And surprised and unsure what to feel, we felt peace.
Then, Monday, when I thought it was time, that I'd learned to be happy in God rather than in things such as apartments, that I'd learned to trust Him to bring all those "things" I needed when I simply sought Him, I logged on to those tried and never true apartment hunting websites again. I spent hours wearying myself once more over amenities and commute lengths and rental rates. Exhausted, I finally realized with regret that maybe God had really answered all our prayers with that memo. Maybe we were meant to stay. And I realized... that really was best. Downtown is sometimes wearying, but it's a perfect location for us to reach all our activities: E's job on the south side, my job and our church community on the north side. With so many unkowns ahead of us in the next year, the lease flexability that comes with the low-income rate is perfect. Now we'll have time to see where God is taking us before we have to take any steps forward on our own.
:: sigh of relief ::
And so I've come to learn once more... He really is our dwelling place. No matter where I live or in what apartment I sleep, He will be faithful... from one end of eternity to the other. As tempting as it is to be anxious, there's really no need. He's totally got my back. I know He'll have to remind me of that with Psalm 90 over and over and over again. But I'm willing to sit through the reruns, because He knows even better than I do how badly I need them.
What about you? Are there any Scriptures the Lord repeatedly puts before your eyes to draw you back to truth? What are you learning?