Thursday, August 02, 2007

Esther, Part 1: Coincidence?

For SaleHindsight is 20/20, right? Not always. How many times do we chalk things up to coincidence instead of recognizing that maybe God had a hand in it?

As MyGeek approached his graduation, we discussed what we wanted to do afterwards. Did we want to stay in NC? We made a huge decision to move to TN. I have felt for years that God wanted me to move back there and the time seemed to have presented itself. We packed up a lot of our current household stuff, stored it in TN, and put our house on the market.

Six months later, MyGeek graduates. No offers had been made on the house or on the job front but I wasn't really worried. I knew it would take at least six months to "get into the system". But things were going to start hopping now, right?

Nine months pass. There were no offers on the house and not a single interview or rejection letter! Have we done something wrong? Did I not "read" this right? And other strange things were happening. We met and became close to several new friends and helped start a very exciting, new small group. The longer we stayed, the less we wanted to leave. We had to make a decision. The listing agreement on our house ended in June. If the house was not sold or there were no job offers by then, we'd stay in NC.

Twelve months later. June. The week before our listing agreement runs out, MyGeek gets four phones calls about potential jobs — in NC. Four calls in one day. He said, "Isn't this a weird coincidence?" I don't think it is. Looking back, we had questioned and doubted our decision so much and wanted to know what to do. As clear as a situation like this can be, it appears that God lent a hand in keeping us in NC. Am I happy about it? Sure. Do I know why? No, but I’m o.k. with that.

Please, don't misunderstand. I don't see God's will as a series of signs and coincidences you decipher on a daily basis. If I get up in the morning and see a commercial for McDonald's mini-melts, I don't read that as a sign that I'm suppose to go to McDonald's (although those mini-melts are really good). If I hear a missionary speak and he happens to be from the same hometown as my grandmother, I don't see that as a sign I should be a missionary.

I do believe that God answers prayers and, above all, that He has a long-term plan — a plan for His Kingdom. I am in His long-term plan; I am not His long-term plan. I believe God's will, more often than not, means doing the right thing or, in cases where there's no right or wrong, simply doing something! I will exhaust myself, spinning in place, trying to figure out whether it's God's will for me to work with the youth, write music, or start my own business. Can God be glorified in all of these? Yes. Then glorify Him in whatever you do.

I highly recommend Chuck Swindoll's The Mystery of God's Will if you want to read more on this subject.


Erin said...

I've been thinking about this a lot, Rhonda.

I especially love this line you wrote: "I am in His long-term plan; I am not His long-term plan."

It seems as though God purpposely leads us to what seems like "dead ends" in our journey with Him. Those occasions when we hear His voice to do something, then we obey Him, and find ourselves up against a brick wall.

"How did this happen?! Didn't I hear You right, Lord?! Why are you doing this to me?!"
I totally misinterpret that verse that says "all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose." To me, "good" translates to comfortable, easy, direct, bright and shiny, logical, pleasant.

Could it be that the "good" Paul talks about in that verse actually encompasses pain, suffering, questions, difficulty, financial hardship, depression, brokenness, total stripping of dependence on anything but God?
It's an amazing God we have that can make those very yucky words and feelings GOOD.

And I still don't get it. But I believe it to be true.

rhon said...

"...pain, suffering, questions, difficulty, financial hardship, depression, brokenness, total stripping of dependence on anything but God"

All of the above!