By Lisa Huddleston
“I am going away to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).
I’m one of those people who love having everything in its place. It may not always be evident in the sometimes chaotic condition of my home, but I really do like the security of knowing that things and people are right where they should be. I like my books on the right shelves, utensils in the right kitchen drawers, my family safely home by the right time, and my day’s goals clearly defined. Although I am not an over-achiever by any standards, it makes me feel good at night to know that things are where they should be—it just helps me to sleep better. In fact, during our last move, I almost wouldn’t let my husband go to bed until he had hung all the pictures on the new walls. I just couldn’t rest without my nest snug around me, and, therefore, neither could he!
But right now, things are out of place. My kids are nearly grown and scattering. One is moving away for a year so I am wrestling with thoughts of finding and furnishing an apartment for him. Another has some pressing medical decisions to make and all I can do is wait. The third is in the throes of choosing a college and transitioning from youth into young adulthood. My husband and I are pushing 50 and seeking to find our place in this new structure for our family. And, last night at church, as I sat in a meeting for the parents of youth, I realized again that I had just about outgrown my place in that group and that it was time for me to reevaluate my roles even in my church. Not a comfortable position for someone like me. How can everything be in its place if I don’t know what my place is anymore? No, I didn’t sleep well at all last night.
Times of transition can be tough on someone like me. That’s just the way it is. But, as I tried to share with my equally frustrated and controlling son, it’s during these times that I know I need to draw closer to God. He is the only steady relationship in our lives. He is the One who will be with us wherever our journey leads. And so, I know I need to run to him.
Do I always do it? No way. My pattern usually begins with a whole lot of frustration, restless nights, tears and complaining. But, eventually and thankfully, it most often leads to him and a new place of service in which I can settle down and nest for a while. That’s just the way it is. Nothing here is permanent—a very hard truth for those who like a rut and a place of their very own.
That’s why I find it good and comforting to know that Jesus has gone before me. He has faced the difficulties of impermanence and change in this temporary world. He has experienced the same trials and the same temptations. And he has overcome. And the good news for a hobbit-hole loving soul like me is that he has prepared a place for me. I can rest assured that when I arrive at the end of this constantly changing adventure of life, I will have a place waiting. A place prepared just for me.
And even now, I can rest in him. Even as my roles change and the people in my life find new places to fit, I can borrow from the future and rest in him. Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!