Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Need Thee Every Hour"1 (Lyrics)
Ephesians 2:19 – Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household. (NIV)
My husband and I moved from Canada to the Azores in September 2020. We had lived in the same house since our wedding day on October 4, 1996. I couldn't take everything, of course, so I gave much away to a downtown ministry, to neighbours, and to friends. My children came for a visit and to pick what they wanted. It was bittersweet, because even though it broke my heart, I was happy that the items were going to stay in the family. My father and mother had given me various wooden items that they had made, so they were close to my heart, and now, I had to give most of them away.
It felt like my identity was slowly slipping away. All of my photo albums filled with memories were too many to take, so again, plenty were left behind. I scanned many others to hold onto. I knew that I was supposed to move to Pico, so I dried my eyes and kept going.
I knew that this was God's plan because after hearing His voice telling me about the move, He moved the mountains that would have prevented us from moving, and all in a matter of weeks.
After the painful and emotional goodbyes to my son, daughter, close friends, and church friends, we left for the airport. The flight was excellent, with no problems, delays, or bad weather.
In Pico, I had to give up my Canadian driver's licence and go in to get a Portuguese one. When I noticed it on the file to be sent to Canada, the tears started to roll down my face as it hit me: There goes my identity, the last of Brenda Vargas. But then, something stirred up in me and I thought, No, I am a child of God. This is my true citizenship. I belong to God. All this other stuff is earthly and will fade, but being a member of God's family will always be the same; never will I lose it. The tears stopped, and I was told to look forward at the camera for the identification picture. Oh no! This is not going to be good! I had been crying, and now a picture for my new licence with bloodshot eyes? But my God cares about me, and He has a sense of humour. We tried for half an hour and neither camera worked. I chuckled as I was told that I would have to come back when one was working. They would call me. Thank You, Lord, for taking care of yet another situation for me.
Philippians 3:20 – But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. (NIV)
Questions to ponder: Where on the scale of importance do you put your true citizenship? Do you need help letting go of so-called "important stuff"?
Prayer: Dear loving Father, thank You for always being there for us. With humble hearts, we pray that You will help us to keep our eyes on the prize of our heavenly calling. Thank You for Your Word that reminds us that our true citizenship is in Your hands. Forgive us when we hold onto things more than we should. Thank You, too, for the sense of humour that You so lovingly show. We love You. Amen.