But after that week we finally got here. We didn't have a home yet, but God graciously provided one within a few days. We were fortunate to already have a good, welcoming church, but didn't yet have any good friends. We had hopes for our new town, new church and new life, but didn't exactly know what to expect.
When I look back on this year, there is a verse that very clearly describes what God has done in our lives:
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen." 1 Peter 5:10-11Our "little while" was our time in California. Though painful for 4.5 years, it is but a blink in the light of eternity. And God is gracious, because after our time of suffering, he has used this year to "restore, confirm, strengthen and establish" us.
A lot has happened in this past year. We added another member to our family. We moved twice (with a third move planned for next month). We made friends, and will say a sad goodbye tomorrow to one of the families we have become closest to, who are making their own big cross country move. We have grown in our love for God and holiness. We have grown in our abilities as parents.
But most of all, I thank God for rest. Not every moment has been easy, but much easier than it has been for a while. I am thankful for a time of spiritual recovery, as we get ready to jump back into the battle.
Because, as John Piper says, "Life is war". And times of rest are just preparation to get back into the fight.