The Place Where You Live
Last week we were in Sitka, Alaska, a spectacularly beautiful place surrounded by mountains, fjord like inlets and bays, snow covered mountains, myriads of islands, teeming wild life, and approximately 8500 residents. You reach Sitka only by boat or plane. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, and it was warm the day we were there, but those who lived in Sitka told us we were very fortunate to enjoy such weather. It is hard to know a place when you visit it for just a day. When we asked a young lady in a café who served us coffee if she liked living there, she answered “it was boring, and indicated she did not plan to stay if she could go elsewhere.
How do you feel about the place where you live? The place you settle and marry and rear your children? Another person to whom we talked in Alaska was leaving Juneau to begin life again in Nevada with a friend who lived there. We do not know what she was leaving behind, only that it appeared to be a story into which she did not want to delve; an unsuccessful one, no doubt, and though she was in mid-life she was leaving Juneau alone. I had to wonder if anything would prove better for her in Nevada. If you had the choice would you leave where you are now? Or are you quite at peace with your current home and locale? In any case, content or not with where you are, you know your surroundings impact your outlook on life and on yourself far more than you contemplate. Then again, others are all too much aware of it.
The Bible tells us that God “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward Him and find Him. Acts 17:26-27. He planned that not all peoples of the earth would live in one place like New York City, though I am sure those who live there think such is true on some days. There are those at the Youth Home that at times wish it were located elsewhere and not in Vidalia, like myself who does not do extremely well with summer heat, humidity, and gnats. (There are worse things, of course!) We are never told what Abraham thought of Ur in contrast to Palestine, where he obediently went “not knowing where he was going, and remained there the rest of his days. Maybe in worldly perspective, things, entertainment, restaurants, et cetera, Ur was better. That is not the point. For reasons known preeminently to God alone he placed us in our allotted “boundaries, and we tend to remain in them for a purpose, or be uprooted by Him to go elsewhere for a purpose.
When discontent arises with where you are, you need to revive in your spirit the truth that “here (wherever here is for you) we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Even if you have the fortune or misfortune to depart and go elsewhere, it is always for the express purpose that you will seek, ever more fervently, the city with foundations whose designer and builder is God. In one way or another God will keep us where we are or move us to another place with the intent that our allotted boundaries of locale, people, and places of serving will spur us to seek Him, find Him, and serve Him, while we eagerly look for the city that will come. This is the city that should capture our hearts and focus our vision and form our being.
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