“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.”― Woody Allen
This past Friday, I closed escrow on my house. It was a bittersweet day. While I will not miss the monthly financial drain, it was the final good-bye to the life I lived there with my husband, Charles. I loved that house. After twenty-eight moves in thirty-five years of married life, we bought it believing it would be our last. We had plans, we had dreams, and spent the past five wonderful years there. Our house was filled with peace, love, and laughter–and it was difficult to say good-bye to all it represented. But God’s plans don’t always coincide with our own, as I have recently been reminded.
I had lunch with my daughter, Hannah, on Saturday. We were talking about the sale of the house and how much the house had meant to both of us. I asked her if she realized the closing of the house was five months to the day from when her father died–she had not. To be fair, I hadn’t either, until the Lord reminded me of it on the flight back home from St. Louis. I am not entirely sure of the significance of God’s timing, but I know there is no such thing as coincidence in the life of any Christian. And while I do not know much of Biblical numerics, “coincidentally,” the number five means, “grace and God’s goodness.”
This discussion led to remembering a conversation Hannah and I had the day of Charles’ funeral. I had gotten up very early that morning, not having slept too well the night before. As I was drinking my second cup of coffee and talking to God about the strength I knew I was going to need that day, He said something to me I was not expecting: “You will remarry.” I have to confess I was not entirely amused with His timing on that piece of information.
A few hours later, Hannah came down for breakfast and as she was pouring herself a bowl of cereal, an odd look came across her face. She turned to me and asked, “Mom, do you think you would ever remarry?” My first thoughts ran something along the line of, “Oh, for Pete’s sake, I haven’t even had the funeral yet!” However, I answered her, “Not today,” at which point, we both laughed and shed a few tears.
It wasn’t until Saturday’s lunch, she told me she had wanted to ask that question a couple of days before the funeral–God had spoken to her about it. Obviously, God restrained her from asking the question until I was ready to hear it and He had spoken to me about it.
I do not understand the many mysteries of God or His always perfect timing. I can only say that I trust Him and am extremely grateful He didn’t speak to me that day as He did to some of His servants in the Old Testament:
♦He told Hosea to marry a prostitute (that must have gone over well with Mom and Dad!). “When the LORD first spoke through Hosea, the LORD said to Hosea, ‘Go, take to yourself a wife of harlotry and have children of harlotry; for the land commits flagrant harlotry, forsaking the LORD.'” Hosea 1:2 (NKJV)
♦He told Isaiah to go naked for three years (now there’s a visual you probably don’t want!). “At the same time the Lord spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, ‘Go, and remove the sackcloth from your body, and take your sandals off your feet.’ And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. Then the Lord said, ‘Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia, so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as prisoners and the Ethiopians as captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.'” Isaiah 20:2-4 (NKJV)
♦He told Ezekiel to bake his bread over cow dung (that would never make it to The Food Network as an up and coming culinary trend!). “Then He said to me, “See, I am giving you cow dung instead of human waste, and you shall prepare your bread over it.” Ezekiel 4:15 (NKJV)
All in all, I feel myself quite fortunate. Who knows what God could have required in this next chapter of my life?
So, I have no idea what is in store for me, but if God has His Hand in it, it’s bound to be good.
And that’s shoutin’ ground. . .
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
Copyright © 2014 by Susan E. Johnson
All rights reserved