I awoke with a fuzzy feeling—you know that feeling when you wake from a dream and try to make sense of it? More like a nightmare, I dreamed I had no shelter or roof over my head to call mine. As I opened my eyes, I was relieved to be safe and warm in my own bed, protected from the elements. I was home.
A thought came to mind of every place I’d ever lived. Hmmm. Did it matter? Yet, it’s one of the questions we often ask when meeting each other for the first time: “Where are you from?” or “Where have you lived?”
It should be a simple answer. But there was more to it when I counted the places I’d lived--eighteen to be exact. I’d forgotten about temporary housing: the foundling home where I resided until I was adopted and the dormitories and apartments I lived in while attending college.
After my husband and I married, we moved from an apartment to a mobile home. We started a family, bought a house, then later upgraded to a more spacious abode. More recently, we purchased a small house in a retirement community.
I thought of the eighteen places I’d lived. I’d never been without food, electricity, running water, plumbing, clothing in the closet, or transportation.
Life wasn’t always rosy. In early years, money ran out before the next paycheck came. I relied heavily on prayer. One afternoon I found a recipe that included some very odd ingredients in my pantry, providing a meal for dinner. On other occasions, I'd get excited when dollar bills showed up in pant pockets or old purses in the closet. And then, there were the coins I'd find beneath the couch cushions.
The nightmare wasn’t pleasant, but it was purposeful. It reminded me to be thankful for the roof over our heads and the provisions with which we'd been blessed.
It wouldn’t have mattered if I’d lived in one or two places—or eighteen. What did matter was knowing that God’s shelter for me—and my family—was there all along.
Where have you lived, and how has God sheltered you?
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.’” – Hebrews 13:5
“Consider the ravens. They do not sow or reap; they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” – Luke 12:24
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33
(Photo courtesy of Ricky Shore)
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