Monthly Devotional

Mar 28, 2024

As I started my nonprofit career in NJ, I also worked as a residential land surveyor on the side to help make ends meet. My boss, Dave, was incredibly gifted at his job, but he had a short fuse. There were so many times as I was learning the trade that I would make mistakes, and he would get so frustrated he’d pack everything up, drive us back to the office, and we’d be done for the day. He was also colorblind, which added to the lore of my experience working with him.  

Dave from a long way off down the street – “Put the pole on the corner of that house.” 

Me – “Which one? This blue one right here?” 

Dave – “I don’t know! THAT ONE!” pointing aggressively 

Despite his quirks, I really enjoyed Dave and learned a lot from him, too! Like how to properly use a metal detector and how to set property corners. How to use a tax map and evaluate streets to find the most likely spots for boundary markers. He taught me how to measure streets with my stride and how unreliable curbs are for determining right-of-way. He helped me overcome my fear of dogs by always having a pocketful of treats and showed me how not to look suspicious while walking through the woods with a machete and a shovel (we used machetes to clear branches so we could get the shots we needed and the shovel we used to find underground boundary markers). There were even practical things, like how it was better when it snowed in the winter because it made the ground softer for digging.   

I even learned to enjoy working outside in the elements. The cold, the heat, the rain…I just got used to it eventually. You can only get so wet, right? But the element that I could never fully adjust to was the wind. Cold? Fine. Cold with a blustery, biting wind? Unbearable at times! We would often need to sit in the truck with the heat blowing on our hands until the howling wind died down or we gathered ourselves enough to step outside and face it again. Even after I got better at the job and Dave didn’t get frustrated with me anymore, the wind was bad enough on many occasions to cause us to pack everything up, go back to the office, and be done for the day.  

Wind always reminds me of God. We can’t actually see it, but we can witness the profound effect it has on whatever it touches. We can feel it – seemingly in our bones sometimes!  There are times when it provides sweet relief, and other times when, if we’re honest with ourselves, it makes us deeply uncomfortable.  

As I introduce this new series, I’m going to talk about God a lot. I’m starting this way because I don’t know your perspective on God or if you even believe that he’s real. You can’t see him, and people make all sorts of claims about who he is, what he’s doing, and who/what he stands for. It can feel like a disorienting wind that makes you want to pack up and go home for the day.  

Like sitting in a warm truck cab as the wind howls outside, you’re safe here. Your thoughts, questions, comments, and concerns are welcome too. Let’s learn and grow, brave the elements, and survey God together. Here we go. 


Matthew Baehr

Matthew Baehr

Executive Director, Homes for HOPE

Matthew Baehr brings nearly two decades of experience in disaster relief, humanitarian aid procurement, and ministry to his role as executive director of Homes for HOPE. An experienced speaker, networker, and fundraiser, he enjoys growing organizations through strategic planning and leadership development. Matt serves as an elder at his church and loves spending time with his amazing wife, Heather, and their four great kids.

Contact Matthew Baehr at

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