March 8, 2017
Over the last 30 years, Connie and I have had more than 20 residences. This is common among people who work internationally – missionaries, international business, diplomats, military. These communities of people migrate regularly and usually take their families with them.
Scripture shows us God’s care for people on the move.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. (Ps 139:9-10 NIV)
Concerning Abraham, we read this:
By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder was God. (Hebrews 11:9-10 NIV)
The prophet Jeremiah wrote to the exiled in Babylon these words of encouragement:
Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce….. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper….‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ (Jeremiah 29: 4, 7, 11 NIV)
These verses give us a picture of God’s watchcare over us. No matter where we live. No matter how we got there. No matter how long we stay.
As God moves ahead of us, is present with us, and has our future moves in sight, we can bloom where we’re planted with His blessing. Then whenever we leave that place, with God’s help we have left it better than when we came. As a follower of Christ, your neighborhood and community should be a better place because of the time you lived there. That has been a goal for Connie and I over much of our marriage.
One of the things we have done as a family when we moved to a new home was have a house blessing. We would invite nearby family and close friends to come pray over the rooms of our house, dedicating the space and ourselves to God’s use. Different people volunteer to pray over different rooms as we walk together around the house and the property. Children are very welcome on these occasions; they have some very good prayers for a new home!
We did this again last year when we moved to our current residence. We had a few friends join us, and already we have been asked by one of those couples to come to the blessing of their house when it’s time. The idea is catching on! And it can be done by anyone, anywhere in the world.
For those of you who would like to do this, here are a few scriptures that can be read for the occasion:
Til next week,
Often as a girl I would join my father a minister for something similar called a house warming where friends and family would gather and a solo list would sing “Bless this House OLORD I Pray ” and my father would pray blessings over the house. What a wonderful tradition you have and how great to pass it on.
Sue, Thank you for those wonderful memories.