December 29, 2021: ‘Not That State’
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Prov. 16:9, NKJV).
Years ago, I started college in Alabama. The degree I chose forced me to transfer to a sister school in California for nine months. An East Coast native, I told God that I would never end up this far away from home again.
A few years later, I was working in Massachusetts, feeling quite at home. My then girlfriend was in graduate school in Maryland. The only way we could plan for our future together, without disrupting what she had started, was to transfer to a school in California. I couldn’t believe that I was willing to return to the place that had me homesick.
As they say, man plans, and God laughs. Much like Moses who left Egypt, thinking he would live out his life in Midian, I had never thought that I would see that land ever again. Moses reluctantly went to Egypt; with much prayer, we decided that transferring to California was the right move for us too. We got married, and, one month later, moved across the country.
That move produced five fruitful years, which springboarded our careers and strengthened our faith. We left the state with a positive new outlook and plans to make regular visits. If I had remained stubborn about what I thought I knew about that location, my professional and spiritual growth would not have flourished. I had to admit that God knew best.
Lord, help us to always remember that when we think we know where to go, You ultimately have a better destination in mind. Amen.
Spendy Pierre-Louis is a member of the First Church of Montclair in New Jersey.