I’m the kind of girl who doesn’t believe in coincidences. God has answered every one of my prayers…even a non-answer is an answer. It’s a “not yet,” or possibly a “never.” But, since He is God alone and I am not, I accept his authority in all areas of life. Even in the confusing ones.
At our community group meeting last week while we shared prayer requests, I told of how my parents had a very quick move from one part of the state to another. My grandmother is not in the best of health, so my parents decided, with much prayer, that they were being led to move closer to her. I remember telling my mom at the time that the sale of their house was under God’s authority, even in this weird collapsing economy. My husband thought they were nuts to put their house on the market in the dead of winter — their own realtor suggested that they wait until May before putting the house up for sale. But the sign went up in the front yard anyway.
Their house sold in one week.
I opened my big mouth and said it must have been a “God thing” for the house to sell so quickly. He knew their desire to honor their parents, and He provided a way to do so.
Kinda makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to see how God is taking care of my parents.
But there’s a flip side to this story. A man in our group has had a prayer request for a year that his parent’s home would sell. His parents died and left behind a mortgaged house. He and his brother are both struggling financially to keep paying for this empty house.
Is it a “God thing,” too, that this house has not sold?
As a woman of faith, I have to reluctantly say that somehow, someway, this struggle for them has a God-given purpose. Maybe God has already selected the family who will purchase that house and is preparing them financially. Maybe He wants to encourage all of us to trust him daily for our needs. It could be that this man and his brother and their families are closer to God than ever before because they have had to learn to rely on His provision each month. I don’t have the answer for why their house hasn’t sold. All I can offer up is faith that it will sell eventually in God’s perfect timing.
I’ve walked a bit in their shoes. Several years ago, my husband and I wanted to move to a different house in the same town. We put our house on the market and began planning the building of the new house. I picked out paint colors and wallpaper and carpet. We selected the brick and the trim and told the builder which trees we wanted him to keep. A flood of people began looking at our home…but we had no buyers. Weeks turned into months, and still our house would not sell. We changed realtors and lowered the price substantially. Still there were no buyers. The builder told us they had to release our contract and offer the house to someone else if we did not have our home sold in the next couple of weeks. I alternated between frantically pacing and calming prayers. I knew God was up to something.
Out of the blue, a man my husband had worked with previously called him up and offered him a new job halfway across the country. The opportunity was too good to pass up — more responsibility, more pay, and a chance to ‘move our cheese.’ We kept the house on the market and then did the unthinkable step in faith: we went ahead and moved.
The new company provided us with a furnished corporate apartment in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore. To say I was out of my comfort zone is a huge understatement. Here I was with a two-year-old and a very energetic Dalmation living on the sixth floor of a combination hotel/apartment complex on the harbor. I had no car. I had to take a taxi to the grocery store. Little old country girl hillbilly meets the big city — what a hoot! To top it all off, everyone took the “water taxi” to get wherever they needed to go. I get terribly seasick and hate boats of any kind. I rode the water taxi twice but managed to stay close to the apartment for anything else I needed. Every other night the fire alarm went off, and we had to grab the baby and the dog and head down six flights of stairs before we got the “all clear.”
But guess what? I did it! I proved to myself that I could live and function in a completely different environment…God showed me His presence in so many ways. I got to experience beautiful sunsets on the harbor, and I learned to be patient when waiting for God’s timing…because it was indeed perfect.
A couple of weeks after we were settled in the corporate apartment, we got the call that we finally had a buyer for our home. We lived in the apartment for a couple of months and then bought a home in the suburbs of Baltimore where life once again ruffled in familiar, comfortable ways.
Looking back, I remember the times of pacing, of wondering why God wasn’t allowing us to reach our dreams. It was because He had even bigger ones in store for us around the corner!
Writing about the “God things” in life gives me a different perspective on current events in our country. We have become a nation that turns to The Government to solve its problems rather than turning to God. Our first president, George Washington, understood the danger inherent in governments:
Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
Yet our people today are appealing to this force, to this ‘fearful master,’ for their very livelihoods, and those of us who question them are labeled unpatriotic or uncaring.
Could it be a ‘God thing’ that our economy is now in the tank?
Could it be a ‘God thing’ that our children’s performance in public schools is going down?
Could it be a ‘God thing’ that so many of our children are filled with such angst and disregard for human life that they think nothing of taking the life of another who ‘disses’ them?
We reap what we sow. The flagging economy and other woes facing our society today is a direct result of the one thing government will never be able to solve: SIN. Sin is behind the fall of our nation, and if we continue to do nothing about it, we will continue on our current path. The anti-God movement is gaining momentum. I don’t know how to stop it, but I know George Washington might have been a prophet after God’s own heart when he said:
Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
We the People who have elected…and kept electing…corrupt politicians…who have allowed ourselves to rely on The Government to cure our health, our finances, our bank accounts, our corporations, our whales, our Golden Cheeked Warblers, our mortgage woes — we are being disciplined. According to the writer of Hebrews, we should embrace this discipline and learn from it:
And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?[d] He said,
As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
Today as I prepare to go to a homeschool mom’s meeting, I’ll try to remember those words from Hebrews 12. Take a new grip. Strengthen your knees. Mark out a straight path. Become strong. Because it’s all a ‘God thing.’
Do you believe God when His word says in Romans 8,
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. If God is for us, who can be against us? Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Absolutely nothing going on in the secular world can separate us from the love of God in Jesus. Nothing. Not a stimulus package that no one had time to read before it was passed into law. Not an automobile bail-out. Those things are just symptoms of how needy our great country really is. We have people turning to Government when all they really need is Christ.