Proverbs 16:9 “The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (NASB).
A few weeks ago I gave a testimony at the 8am service instead of a sermon (August 14, 2016). Although it wasn’t as eloquent as I’d normally like, it came out of the honest and forthright emotion of the moment. It was the culmination of a long journey that I want to recount for you a little bit here. Not the full story, since you can go and listen to that if you’d like, but a bit of the story that I think may be helpful and informative.
What do you do when you feel that God wants you to do something? That was the dilemma that Valerie and I found ourselves in. We both felt that it was God’s will to sell our house, and had been working toward that end for over a year. Conversations with friends, real estate people, and even an appraiser confirmed what we felt: get it ready, put it on the market, and it probably wouldn’t last long. So we did this past spring. And we showed it a lot at the beginning. And we waited. And we waited. And we waited. Every other house that we’d sold had sold more quickly than this one! We began to wonder whether or not we had misinterpreted what we’d felt, or put our desires and feelings in the place of God’s will. And then we had another couple of showings, so we started looking for options again. To make a long story short (too late!), Valerie ended up with a part-time job as a live in property manager of an apartment complex. We felt that it was too good an opportunity to turn down, a God given opportunity at that, and we moved in on September 1st. But that’s not the end of the story. On the day that we signed our lease we received on offer on our house that we accepted. We are currently waiting for the closing of our house on October 7th, but everything looks good so far.
So, what is the moral of this story? Could you interpret it as God showing graciousness toward two stupid people? Of course! But allow me to tell you my interpretation. God was moving us in a direction, but we not only misinterpreted the timing, we often wondered if we had misunderstood the message. However, if God had allowed our house to sell early, we wouldn’t be where we are now, and we may have jumped into a situation we weren’t ready for in our desperation for a place to live. So that brings me to our Scripture passage. We plan, we think, and we pray, but we recognize that it is God who is ultimately in control. And if we are trying to please Him, He will lead us to where He wants us to be, even though that may not be where we thought we were going to end up!