Thursday, December 1, 2011

musings of a displaced person

You have to be displaced from what's comfortable and routine,
and then you get to see things with fresh eyes, with new eyes.
-Amy Tan

God has often, in the history of humanity, taken people out of their own culture and context,
and thrust them into unfamiliar situations where they've been in a position to learn more intensely their utter dependence on Him. 

As Michael and I have been reading our way through the stories of the Old Testament this school year,
I’ve been reminded of all the people God has lovingly displaced…

 *Abraham, abandoning all he knew to travel to a land he’d never seen just because God spoke.
 *Jacob, whose mother convinced him to make an extended visit to Uncle Laban.
 *Joseph, violently sold off into slavery far from home by jealous brothers.
 *Moses, wandering up to Moab alone in fear of retaliation for a murder he committed.
 *Esther, finding herself living as a queen in a volatile foreign court.
 *Rahab, seeing her own city fall all around her, decides to cast her lot with the Israelite invaders.
 *Ruth, leaving home and country willingly to follow a woman she loves and a God she’s learned to worship.
 *David, running for his life from Saul, finding sanctuary among the Philistines,
 *and Elijah living by the brook, evading evil King Ahab while being fed by ravens.

And that's just a selection from the first few books of the Bible.

Jesus Himself modeled this displacement in His incarnation.
Talk about culture shock.

Every single one of these displaced persons was greatly used by God, and their stories are woven in His Word.   
But each one of them was pulled up unceremoniously by the roots and made to relocate; required to leave home and family, and to learn to deal with God in a whole new way through the losses and changes and adaptations.

I'm beginning to think that maybe it’s only through the upheaval of living in another land
 that God can jar some of us to lean on Him more completely;
as we leave the secure framework of all that’s familiar and comfortable and safe,
 falling headlong into desperate need for Him.

Such a state is not the easiest, but it's certainly the best place to live;
in cognizance of my stark need and His profound sufficiency.

How have transitions you've made taught you more about your need for Him? 


OliveTree said...

After 29 years as a believer and 14 years on the field, I find that at each juncture of life, just when I think I've figured life out, things change, and I feel a bit displaced again!

It's true that the best place to be is headlong into desperate need for Him. That's the place where we grow!

us5 said...

thanks, OliveTree. i wonder why it is...i want to grow, but i also so often want to be in control, not needing Him or anyone else! :blush:

Rosalie said...

He's a really good Daddy!