April 16, 2011

He's an On Time God...

The reality of the ins and outs of what this move to France will take has come to the fore as we've been encountering daily life here in Lyon for this vision trip:
  • Learning the language to a level that we can truly communicate (rather than just saying bon jour, bonsoir, au revoir, pardon, où sont les toilettes?, and merci)
  • Choosing the right place to send the kids to school, and the ramifications on their long-term education that each choice means (total French immersion?  English only?  A combination?  Not to mention the expense of each of those choices and the reality that there are no organized sports or music options through those schools)
  • Understanding the cultural practices well enough that we don't constantly walk around in one big offensive way 
  • Dealing with the fact that we will be living in a very expensive city with extremely limited means
  • Learning to live in an apartment again after almost 20 years of spacious home ownership
  • Metro (subway)/bus/train travel around the city
  • Being 'fit' enough to walk very long distances
  • Leaving our pets behind (two yippy maltese won't win friends in close quarters)
  • Learning how to live where everything is small--cups, beds, bathrooms, cars, portions
  • Selling our accumulated belongings
  • Being away from family and friends
It's such a long list, and by just taking 10 minutes to list them all, it might seem like we're living more in the human side of the equation than in the supplied grace that we'll need to sustain this calling. It reminds me of the story that I heard many years ago about the conversation that Corrie Ten Boom had with her father when she was concerned about her ability to live out her Christian faith in the midst of great trials:

     “When I was a little girl,” I said, “I went to my father and said, ‘Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.’”
     “Tell me,” said Father, “When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”
     “No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”
     “That is right,” my father said, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. He will supply all you need — just in time....”
So, we rest in the fact that we know that we are called to France to join Him in the work that He is doing to bring people into a worshiping relationship with Him.  We rest in the fact that it is only He who can give us all the strength and grace that we need--just in time!  We rest in the fact that He is an On Time God!


  1. Praying for you all...your quote reminded me of another Corrie Ten Boom quote I have on my desk: "If God sends us on strong paths, we are provided strong shoes." He is your Provider and your Home.

  2. Chris,

    What an honest look at the challenges ahead. It's not an easy list for sure. When we made our move to SC to become houseparents, we had a long list of "sacrifices" too, though yours makes ours look pretty silly.

    I can say with assurance, 2 years into being led here, that not one of those "sacrifices" has caused us pain in a major way. We have not missed possessions or privacy, or space. Of course people left behind will always be missed, but we have been grateful for technology like Skype and Facebook to stay in touch. God continues to be good and to bring the joy of living in His will, and the excitement of seeing lives won to Him.

    You will be blessed for your sacrifice, and I'm confident that your whole family will be happy in the "new normal" and will never regret this decision even with as many adjustments as you'll have to make. We'll be praying.

  3. What an undertaking!! I know our move to UP of MI was difficult. Relationships are the hard part for me. It's awesome you have your entire immediate family with you to experience everything. Skype has been soooo helpful! Thanks for keeping us informed...helps me know how to pray. Look forward to keeping up with you!

  4. You are right on, the good Lord will provide in His timing according to His good and perfect will. It is overwhelming, but in his hands it feels so right! May you be richly blessed through this transition and be willing to turn loose and give HIM the control!