I once did a word study in Ephesians 6. In the phrase “shield of faith,” the word faith was most often translated “faithfulness.”
In other words, it is God’s faithfulness that covers and protects me, not my faith.
That was a relief to me because faith is not my strong suit. It’s not my faith or lack of it that carries me, it’s His faithfulness. When I think about the transitions we’ve gone through as a family, I can see how true this is.
When we moved overseas, God showed us His sovereignty and goodness, when we questioned whether having a baby, leading a team, and learning new language and culture all at the same time was really the best idea. It was, for His purposes.
When I became a mom, He showed me that He is El Roi – the God who sees us, even when the world might not.
When we moved to Singapore, and He knew how hard it was for us to leave, He showed us His tenderness and compassion through working out all the details in perfect timing.
When we moved back into East Asia 5 years later, things didn’t go quite so smoothly. I remember saying to God, “But last time you worked all these things out so well! Why not now?” And He said, “Because that’s not what you need now.” What we needed was to be refreshed and renewed, and He showed His delight in doing that for us.
So as we came to this move, I wondered, “How will God reveal Himself to us this time?”
We had all these huge decisions to make. We had to buy a house – here we are at 40 years old but we’d never bought a house before. We had to decide what part of Orlando to live in, and we discovered that our friends could be very evangelistic about what part of Orlando is best. It was confusing; They all sounded good! We had to decide where to send our kids to school – we’ve not had a lot of options before. It was overwhelming, and the best pro/con list in the world wasn’t going to help us. The house we bought had the most pros, but it also had the most cons, by far.
What we needed was His wisdom. If you ask me today why we chose this area, this house, this school, I will tell you that it was simply because God told us to. With each decision there came a day when He clearly said, “This one. This place.” He has been our wisdom and our guide.
When I look back, God has been faithful to show up. So this becomes another stone of remembrance for me that strengthens my faith, that I can carry into the next transition. I don’t know how God will work, but I know that He will. It is his faithfulness that shields me.