Wait or Act?

Yesterday, my dad lovingly called to inquire whether or not Jason's workload had picked up any.  You see, the first couple of months of the year are typically slow for the carpet cleaning business for which Jason works.  This year seems to be a bit slower than normal.  And since Jason is paid by the hour, little to no hours means a little to naught paycheck.  As for me, I'm not teaching this semester, so my entire source of income right now is my writing.  Sell books=make money.  You can see where the problem lies for us right now.  So, when I confessed that Jason's hours were pitiful, he asked the same question I've been asking for weeks now--What are you going to do?

"Pray" was the only answer I could give him because it's all I know to do or say.  This morning, as I stared out the window at Jason's work van sitting in the driveway (instead of out doing cleanings), I mulled over that question.  What are we going to do?  Several ideas floated through my mind.  Jason could look for better, more reliable work.  I could look for a part-time job.  Or maybe Jason could look for part-time work to fill in when there wasn't work at his full-time job.  Before I could get through many more options, a thought completely overwhelmed me--Don't fall into Abraham's trap!  Say what?  What trap?  And what does Abraham have to do with anything?  I didn't need to ask.  The entire message became very clear.

 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land. And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive. Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee. - Genesis 12:10-13

I'm sure you know the rest of the story.  Sarai did as Abraham asked, and their lies led to trouble, as lies always do.  But here's the part that struck me this morning:  Abraham wouldn't have needed to lie if he had stayed where God put him.  Earlier in the chapter, God told Abraham to go to a place that He would show him.  In verse 7, it says, And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land.  "This is the land, Abraham.  This is what I had waiting for you."  So what happened?  Why did Abraham leave?  I think the first phrase of verse 10 tells us exactly what happened--there was a famine in the land.

Even though Abraham was where God told him to be, he left and went down to Egypt.  Was it because he was afraid?  Quite possibly.  Was it because he reasoned that the famine was a sign from God to keep moving?  Likely.  Did it boil down to the fact that Abraham reasoned that God wouldn't ask him and his family to stay in a place of famine?  Who's to say?  But whatever his reasons, the message this morning really stirred my heart.

Jason and I, like Abraham, are essentially in a land of famine.  Are we afraid?  Well, I can't speak for Jason, but fear has certainly crept in on me a few times.  Are we reasoning that the famine is a sign from God to keep moving?  We've certainly discussed the matter and pleaded with God to make His will clear.  As for whether or not God would ask us to stay in a place of famine, well, that's really up to Him, isn't it?  All I can say is that I believe Abraham and his family would have been just fine if they hadn't stepped out of God's will.  No lying.  No problems with Egypt.  I'm not saying things would have been easy, but I know God would have taken care of them.

Jason and I feel that we are in God's will.  We have prayed and asked for direction, but nothing has been revealed.  And until something is revealed, we will assume that God's plan for us right now is to stay where He has placed us, to follow His last instructions to us.  Will it be easy?  Probably not.  Will it make sense?  Definitely not.  But is it the right thing to do?  I believe so.  I've heard it said that God helps those who help themselves, but sometimes I think we get so busy helping ourselves that we leave God completely out of the process.  We neglect His will and direction because we're so set on creating our own futures and successes.  I agree there is a time to act, but the Bible makes it clear that there is also a time to wait.  And so, we will wait and continue to pray that God will either open a new door of opportunity for us or help us praise Him through the lean times.  Either way, our greatest desire is for His will to be done! 

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. - Proverbs 3:5-6