One Step Closer to Home


The road to Missouri was hot.  We traveled over Labor Day weekend.  The three digit temperatures through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Nebraska, challenged our patience and our strength.  Our caravan of vehicles crawled the mountains at 15mph. We felt like “The Little Engine That Could,” moving at a snail’s pace, but we were moving. We logged nine hours driving the first day and twelve the second.  Our mood went from total exhaustion to giddy slapstick.

On September 2, 1981, we arrived in Missouri.

It was green.  Everywhere we looked, green. Rolling hills, Queen Anne’s Lace bobbing in the ditches with Black Eyed Susans and blue chicory.  The landscape cooled our frustration and renewed our faith. We were finally here.

The week was a whirlwind.  We spent a couple of days in Independence with the Flowers family.  We’d stayed with them during conference five years prior.  They were the only people we knew in Missouri.

We searched the papers for rentals in Clay County but saw little that looked appealing or met our need.  Weary from looking, we pulled into a grocery store in Excelsior Springs.  After purchasing some snacks for the kids, we joined the line at the cash register.

“How are you today?” asked the pleasant-faced cashier.  “Did you find everything you needed?

“We are tired, and we didn’t find everything we needed,” I said too tired to care how it sounded.

“What do you need?  Maybe I can help you.”

“We are looking for a house to rent.” I went on and told her most of the story and our need to find a home until we could buy property.

She smiled.  “You’ve come to the right place then,” she said.

“We have?”

“Yes, our manager has a home just a few blocks from here that he’s had for sale.  He’s been looking for someone to rent it until he can find a buyer.  Hang on.  I will call him.”

Mike and I looked at each other and shrugged.  “Let’s see what he has,” Mike whispered, adjusting the bag of groceries in his hands.

“The manager will be right over,” said the cashier, returning from her phone call.  “He isn’t far.  Just rest over there,” she said pointing to a small table with chairs next to the grocery carts.

We plopped down and handed the treats to the kids.  Mike grabbed my hand across the table and smiled.  He knew how tired we all were.  “I sure hope this is the answer,” I said. I rested my head in my left hand.  “I don’t know what to try next if it isn’t.”

Soon the manager arrived and led us to his property.  It was perfect.  Three bedrooms, a full finished basement, and a garage.  The price was right. We signed papers, moved in the next day, and started to unpack.902-sunset-strip-excelsior-springs

This would be our home for the next four months.

The best move was yet to come.

 ~~ How About You? ~~

 The Word says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”  Proverbs 16:9

The old adage, “Make a plan and work the plan,” doesn’t always work.  Robert Burns wrote, “The best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry.”

We had a plan, but it was only in the undercover lead of the Holy Spirit that we got where we needed to go.  He is forever at work in us and around us to keep us on the path of good things God planned in advance for us to do.  It’s most often in hind sight that we realize how much He played a part.

God wants to engage us.  He speaks to us more than we realize and we miss Him. Either we don’t believe that we can hear or don’t believe that He will speak to us.  Maybe we are afraid to hear what He may say or ask us to do. Or perhaps we are just frustrated, and our emotions are yelling so loud that His voice is lost in the noise.  Are we looking in every other direction but to Him in prayer?

Have you seen His hand leading?  Have you heard Him whisper direction?  Have you responded?  What is your story?  I’d love to hear it.  It may not be a physical move.  It may be a relationship, a job search, or a decision you needed to make.

Please post a comment.  Thanks


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