Pack and Pray

God said, ‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’

And Moses said to God, ‘If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here.

—Exodus 33:14-15

If you don’t already know, I’m moving. My pastoral appointment is being realigned. No seriously, I serve a two-point charge, and I’m remaining at one of the churches, and the other one is being re-assigned to a more equal yoking with another church much closer to it. I’m then moving to a new church that is much closer to my husband’s. And we are moving into his parsonage. There are other details, but they’re too tedious.

It's a productive messSo, I’m moving. I’m packing. I have a living room entirely full of the process of packing, with a narrow split, a parting of the waters, for a pathway.

I’m praying as I pack.

I’m praying for the church that I am leaving, that they might find renewed promise in their new minister, and that they would continue to know God’s love.

I am also praying for the church I am remaining at, that they and I would continue to grow in love and fellowship together, that we as a joined body of Christ would build into stronger believers.

Finally, I am praying for the church to which I am moving. I am praying that the work done by those who have gone before me, and that I will be able to water the soil that has been made ready. I pray that God will work in us together, to grow the fruit of the Spirit. I pray that God’s presence will be made known in us, and through all that we do. I pray that we might grow disciples together, for the transformation of the world, and to the glory of God.

I’m praying all those things. And yet, I’m nervous. Moving is always a little nerve-wracking. Some studies group named moving as the third most stressful life event, after death of a family member and divorce, respectively. It’s a pretty big deal.

And so I’m praying. I’m praying like Moses, who told God that if God’s presence would not go with them where they were going, that he’d really rather that they stayed in the wilderness, thank you very much.

But see, God made the promise to go with them. God made that promise, to go with them through the wilderness, and see them out the other side.

God’s promise doesn’t end there. God also promised to give them rest. I’m in pretty deep need for some rest, after coming back from my surgery. I am trusting in the promise that God will grant me rest, along with God’s presence wherever I will be. God promised to be with the Israelites, and God has promised to be with my husband and I as we move, and God promises to be with you, wherever you go.

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