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. Romans 8:28
It was at about the half-way mark on our journey to California that we got the call. We were stopped at a rest area when my cell phone rang. It was our realtor from North Dakota. The couple that was purchasing our home had decided to switch lenders two days before closing. This last minute change would delay the sale of our home by at least a week. And this delay would set off a chain reaction that changed our lives forever. It would seem that in spite of six months of careful planning and preparation by everyone involved, timing was not on our side.
About 700 miles from the only home we’d ever known and some 700 more to the home we now could not purchase, the three of us sat down on a bench to contemplate our future. We thought about going back, but only one of us was now gainfully employed and that job was in California. As uncertain and frightening as everything now seemed, we felt we really had no choice. We decided that we must continue on. Perhaps we could request an extension and move our closing date on the home in California the week we needed to close on our existing home. Maybe everything would fall into place in spite of this unfortunate news. At the very least, we had friends there to help us. And no matter what was in store for us, we knew we simply had to place our trust in God and press on.
Just as we were about to leave the rest area we noticed a young gentleman standing near an old pickup truck. He must have been having some mechanical problems. The hood of his truck was propped open and he was covered in grease. When he approached us and introduced himself as Joe, my heart warmed a bit. He bore the name of my eldest son. As he shared his story I realized he was in the midst of a storm much like our own. He was half-way between home and a new job in the oil fields of North Dakota. His truck had been giving him trouble most of the way and everything he cherished was relying on the opportunity that awaited him so many miles away. Eagerly, we all dug into our pockets for any cash we could share. You might think that giving to another in need would have been difficult considering our own struggle. But on the contrary, it seemed to bring us a measure of hope and peace. Yes, we were distraught about our own situation. But at least we were able to bring some good from it by helping this unfortunate stranger. After all, if we were able to bless this man in our situation, maybe someone else would be there for us when we needed help.
Helping others without consideration of our own needs can be difficult without the right perspective. It is when we focus on the truth of God’s amazing provision and care for us that the opportunity to help others becomes our greatest joy. You simply cannot out-give God! When we remember that He is always seeking our best interest, we can trust Him even in the most difficult of times. It is then that our potential to glorify Him is at its greatest. We need to realize that God is bigger than any situation we face. And no matter how difficult our life may be, He can and will use you to bless others if you allow Him to. Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone embraced this truth?!
Thank You Lord for giving us the opportunity to bless Joe. Help each of us to embrace the work You have set before us, no matter what we may be facing in our own lives. Teach us to trust You completely in every circumstance. Your love is truly contagious and the greatest source of joy for anyone who experiences it. May we hold fast to Your love until we see You face to face. Amen.