This week I travelled back to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It was a year to the day that we moved away under the Lord’s direction. If you’ve lived long enough there are many of us who have moved from one town to another, in our case we moved at 53 years of age to another Country. We came to Saskatoon from the UK - moving to another country. We were not forced out of our home, as millions of people seem to be. No-one forced us to make a decision to go. However, it was a step into the unknown.
Will it work? What if it doesn’t work out and we have to go back? I can tell you now that we didn’t have those questions - everyone else did…
Why would we do that?
There’s the time when we gave up full time employment and moved to 3 full time years at Bible College. With 3 young children on my 42nd birthday, we decided to make the, not so long, journey but it was a decisive step into the unknown again - with the same questions but with a few added comments such as - You are being foolish, I don’t know what you are thinking, you are having a mid-life crisis, all positive helpful points!
Why would we do that?
In the same way that when I allowed the Lord into my life on October 26th, 1986, the decision to go was not hard. The more decisions of faith we make, the more trust you can put in His guidance. The reason why we would do that sounds illogical and, I will say it, stupid. Going back this week, what was I going to find? A yearning to return for something that we didn’t finish, a desire to ask Him to speak clearly so that I knew that moving was the right thing. Well, I did hear from the Lord - He told me that I should press on towards that which He had prepared for us in Alberta and that going back was…
NEVER THE SAME!
We have no desire to return to Saskatoon, the UK, full time employment, going back is not the option. It reminds me of the Romans when they conquered nations under the Caesars in Europe. They sailed to the land that was next on the list. They unloaded and established their base, the command went out to “burn the boats!” We know that phrase and sometimes it forces us to stay. At other times, it is a trust that the Lord has our best interests in His heart and He knows the future better than we do.
I love islands. I seem to try and visit them on vacation. Probably, I have visited 20 or more. You can navigate around them, they are surrounded by sea and it’s a feeling that for a few weeks of let’s enjoy the experience. We have visited some again and there is a nice feeling but it’s not like the first time we went there.
Relationships that have not developed, marriages not continued, homes perhaps destroyed will NEVER BE THE SAME again.
With the Lord, He has the unique ability to restore us and change our mindsets to take us to a place of security and a feeling of well being. The 3rd in our series of Life Recovery 12 step program has this stamp all over it -
We made a decision to turn to our will and our lives over to the care of God.
The life we enjoyed - or endured - in the past WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN because God has planned something far better and far more enjoyable. This is the reality, once we decide that we cannot ever do better than Him. If we decide to turn our will - a determination, an active choice, a desire - over to Him, we are taking the first step in opening up our lives to God’s love and care.
We would never try to perform surgery on ourselves. The first hint of pain would stop us. We are making a decision to place ourselves into His hands, a decision we will never go back on. Instead of trying to live in the past, we are making our days in the future full of potential and purpose that He knows is there but we have never thought we had.
The prayer that we ask offenders to adopt is a simple one which is full of the recognition of who we were and our decision to humble ourselves before Him -
Lord, I am learning that there is an awful lot I can’t do,
I can’t control life the way I used to,
I can’t make people be what I want,
I can’t stop the pain inside me,
I can’t even fully submit to your plan yet - I’m too frightened of you,
But I know that there is one thing that I can do right now,
I can make a decision to turn my will and life over to you,
Making the decision doesn’t mean I have to make it happen,
Making the decision doesn’t mean I understand you and your plan,
Making the decision doesn’t even mean I’m entirely willing, but it does mean that
I know your way and will is right,Lord, turn my simple decision into reality.
This prayer is crammed full of reality and truth, humility and uncertainty, strength and purpose. By praying this prayer, the whosoever is showing that they have come to end of themselves and now, at the crossroads, the decision must be to change. You cannot expect to carry on with the same mindset, same old same old and expect to be different.
That is why a decision to change will mean that life will be better than it has ever been. The reason that I could make some powerful, life changing decisions for not only my life but the lives of our family with a confidence that I never had until the Lord came to rescue me.
The poem - Footprints - is a well known expression of how God deals with us. He doesn’t tell us all of what He is doing but by looking back expecting LIFE TO BE THE SAME, we know it isn’t and it NEVER CAN BE AGAIN.