Out with the old, and in with the new. How many times have we heard that idiom and applied it?
Recently, when trying to declutter our house in anticipation of a move, I wondered if this applied to all areas of my life or just a physical thing? Did I need to get rid of old thoughts and ways of approaching things in my spiritual life? Move on, let go, purge? Was I still hanging on to some old ideas?
We recently moved to another state. It was a difficult move. Several offers on our house fell through, we couldn’t find a new home, and then everything fell into place. But, just as quickly, it all fell out of place. We did sell our house and were ready to move into my dream house, and it was almost “perfect.” However, the sellers of my “perfect” home couldn’t find another place, so we were left homeless.
Our things went into storage, and we moved in with my husband’s cousin. As we continued to be on the alert for a house to come on the market, we realized that things were changing. We had to let go, be flexible, and relinquish our plans.
Our old way of doing things wasn’t working. God had something else in mind. Any house that came on the market immediately sold, and often with bidding wars and multiple offers.
I was not looking forward to those conditions. But God had other plans for us. One of the other agents in our realtor’s office knew of a couple going to put their house on the market. We had the opportunity to see the house before it went to multiple listings. We prayed and felt the nudge to put in an offer, and they accepted. The house we bought wasn’t the “perfect” house I imagined. It looked good, but once we moved in, we realized we had a lot of work ahead of us. I wasn’t surprised when our new pastor preached just the message I needed to hear.
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. Philippians 3:13 NIV
I hadn’t noticed the word “straining” before in that verse. I thought when God was opening doors, things went well. I had to let go of that concept and realize I needed to push forward and get on with the new life in our new home.
Because this house wasn’t the “perfect” house I hoped for, I began to complain. I knew if I kept complaining about the house, I would be missing his blessing and the benefits of this move. Life isn’t always a rose garden.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33 NIV
I certainly didn’t want to be like the Children of Israel, who got stuck and didn’t move forward as they feared the enemies and complained about the menu God had graciously provided. Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Philippians 2:14 NIVAnytime we lose our trust in God’s ways, we are susceptible to turning back into disobedience. So, yes, I had to dump the old and move on with the new. God never disappoints. He will use us where we are and use what we have.
I don’t know why we are in this house and not the other “perfect” one, but I know I must be obedient.
I can’t look back and wish for something that is not going to happen. After that sermon on not looking back, I knew I had to get rid of my old thoughts and ideas. I needed to substitute praise for the complaining and concentrate on the things I like about the house. I love the new refrigerator with the huge freezer drawer on the bottom!
It’s also amazing what happens when we gaze at Jesus and glance at our problems; things do change. We can successfully be out the with old and in with the new. My job is to keep walking in the path God has shown me. It may not be what I wanted or thought it would be, but when I am obedient, God gets the glory. See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 NIV
We are looking forward to having friends over for a bar-b-que in our new home. We have a great deck that will be fun for entertaining. A favorite salad is our son-in-law’s recipe. It’s an easy side dish and goes perfectly with just about anything. You can customize it with your favorite additions or dressings. I love the cranberry dressing to give it a little zing.
Rich’s Spring Fling Salad
8 to 10 cups baby spinach, washed and dried.
1 cup raspberries
1 avocado, chopped
½ thinly sliced red onion
½ sliced English cucumber
½ red pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup grape tomatoes
Optional: candied pecans Serves 4 to 6
Cranberry Salad Dressing
½ cup whole berry cranberry sauce
½ cup wine vinegar
2/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a covered jar and shake until mixed. Keeps in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
Find great recipes like this in Penelope’s book: The Art of Afternoon Tea: From the Era of Downton Abbey and the Titanic. Available autographed from penelopecarlevato.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.