My daughter and I have been reading The Swiss Family Robinson for the past few months. In the midst of our reading, we’ve also been selling our house, searching for a new house, moving and getting settled in a new place.
The house we recently sold was a dream house for us. It was a 50-plus year old house situated exactly where we had always wanted to be. A small town, in the middle of a park, surrounded by the local schools and even a community pool; all within walking distance. We spent the first years there continually amazed at this place where God had planted us. But the house was old and things didn’t quite work right. Storms happened and siding had to be repaired. The kitchen slowly was being remodeled and we found ourselves in a place that was half finished, half falling apart and our family was being stretched in so many ways. This amazing place that God had planted us became a burden to us. So we prayed for years about what to do. Then one day, we listed it and it sold.
So like the Robinson family, we started on a new adventure. We thought we knew where we wanted to be; out in the country, surrounded by land and chickens with space to roam and do whatever we wanted to do with it. We wanted to build something of our own. But while we didn’t shipwreck, we did end up in a completely different place. We are back in a neighborhood, closer to the big city that we originally moved out of, in a house that we didn’t build and with neighbors that are super close.
While we were about a quarter of the way through the book, my daughter asked “How in the world could the Robinsons shipwreck on an island that had all these things that they needed?”
Every chapter that we read, they come across another plant or another animal that the father just happened to know how to utilize to their ultimate benefit; it’s almost like they had landed in Eden. But it’s made me think as I realize what the Lord has given us; He’s given us everything we need. This isn’t where we thought we were going to end up; that island isn’t where the Robinsons thought they would end up, but they embraced it.
I long to be able to embrace where I am. I long to be able to instill in my children that no matter where God takes you, to embrace it with a sense of adventure. But so often I’m just crippled by fear and anxiety and frustration and worry. Like the Israelites, I don’t go to bed thankful for the manna that day and at peace about the manna for tomorrow. I want to go to bed with my coffers full, knowing that I’ve taken care of things for the next day. God doesn’t work that way.
We don’t learn to embrace tomorrow without the simple trust that God is going to continue to provide all that we need; exactly what we need. So whether I am shipwrecked on an island or sitting in a warm house that God has so gracefully provided, I seek to trust Him–to show my children how to trust Him–and walk daily into everyday as an amazing adventure.