As soon as I pulled up in front of the rental house, my heart sank.
The paint on the exterior was peeling and chipping. A sagging porch with loose boards extended across the front, and the yard was overgrown with weeds.
This would be our home for God only knew how long. Due to a mix-up with the apartment complex where we were staying on a temporary basis, we needed to find a new place. Fast. Our old house sat on the other side of the country, waiting for the right buyer.
I walked in the front door and was immediately greeted by dusty floors and a musty smell. I wondered how long it had been since someone had loved this place.
When I added this discovery to the ever-increasing list of things causing stress with a new move, it was easy to question our decision. My gut response was to ask where God was in the midst of the chaos and the bills piling up.
My second response was to control the situation. Or at least try to. I attempted to speed things along and create order amid turmoil. Call the realtor. Send emails. Follow-up again.
I tried to cling to faith, but I worried about whether God would provide.
A week later, I stood at the kitchen counter, drinking my coffee before making my morning commute. Through the window, I observed our dogs exploring. Our lab mix was eating something random in the yard and appeared to be enjoying it.
After watching a moment longer, I realized it was squash from a previous renter’s garden. And at this simple realization, my face broke out into a huge grin.
No one had tended to this garden in months. It was dependent on whatever the earth gave. And yet, it was thriving. It was producing a harvest in the middle of the overgrowth, the weeds, and neglect.
If God took care of this garden that had no one looking after it, wouldn’t he take care of us?
After all, If he was providing its needs and tending it, how much more would meet us where we were?
“If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” Matthew 6:30 NIV
I was familiar with this scripture. Having grown up in the church and attending a Christian school, I was no stranger to the word. But knowing it means living it. Being told of his comfort and his love doesn’t compare to experiencing it.
Sometimes it takes need of a Comforter to remember his presence is always there.
And often, it takes lack of physical comfort to make us remember the source of all comfort.
One night when we were still waiting for our furniture to arrive, I laid on the air mattress with my husband and watched a favorite romantic comedy. It was our one-year anniversary. Somehow our year-old frozen cake had made it to the rental house, and we sat there, marveling that it still tasted good.
I realized right then and there that we had everything we needed. We had a roof over our heads. We had food, clothing, and warmth. And the things I desperately wanted, like a place to lay our roots? Well, those would come with time.
Instead of being worried about whether God would provide, I was thankful for the ways he’d provided our needs. Each and every one.
Like the vegetables in the garden, our own roots grew deep. Not the physical ones but the spiritual ones that went beyond location and conditions.
Even when everything around us was unfamiliar and unsure, they dug into the rich soil. They dug into the truth we knew. We had each other. We had the love of an unchanging God. And while our circumstances shifted, his character never would.
*This post originally appeared on Embracing the Unexpected.