Sunday, March 21, 2010

Okay God, Even I Get It

We've talked before about the challenge of understanding when and how God is actively working in our lives.  I often pray to surrender my will so I can be open to God's will for me. There's a long way for me to go, but something happened last week where God made His work so clear, even I was able to see it.

Leaving a job in a big corporation last fall was a major test of faith. I firmly believe God created a situation where he essentially asked, "Are you willing to make the right decision and depend on me to lead you?" Through prayer, discussion, and understanding the beneficial impact my departure might have for other people, there was no choice but to leave if I wanted to be true to my life's core purpose.

Since then, it's been challenging in many ways, yet I'm at such peace with the decision. In both subtle and overt ways, God has placed signs along the way which signal, "I'm watching out for you. Believe."

With as much progress as we'd made on the business, it was clear a number of weeks ago that we needed to secure a significant project. At the same time, Lent was approaching. During this period annually, we are re-called to a life of greater prayer, sacrifice, and giving to others. So for part of our Lenten giving, I committed to give a certain portion of whatever a new project's fee would be to EWTN, the Catholic television network. It has been a tremendous blessing in my spiritual growth for many years.

Sure enough a potential project in the works since before I'd left my job came to fruition as Lent started. True to our commitment, Cyndi and I made an online donation to EWTN of $500 several weeks ago. Sure it would have been comforting to keep the money, but it was a vital commitment to fulfill. Last Thursday, we received an envelope from EWTN with a receipt and a note saying we'd be remembered in masses and devotions there the first week in April.

In the mail, however, was another envelope, this one was from our insurance company. It referenced a car accident we had in August 2004. On the way to an outdoor theatre, our car was t-boned (and totaled) by a big, old pickup driven by a driver with no insurance, no license, no tags, and apparently no inclination to yield the right of way. Thankfully, no one was hurt. Yet we were stuck in a bad part of town with an inoperable car, a dying cell phone, and a need to find someone to get us home. Cyndi's sister was traveling through town, however, and was able to come get us. As we waited, the Kansas City police officer stayed at the scene much longer than he would have had to, watching out for us. So beyond missing the show, having to find a new car, and covering the deductible because of the other driver's lack of insurance, we were really none the worse for wear.

The insurance company's letter let us know the pickup's driver was now making payments to them. Because of his commitment to repay his debt, the letter contained a check for $500, refunding our deductible! Okay, I may be tremendously dense, but even I could put all this together.

Think about it. We pray and expect God to answer immediately, not appreciating that God doesn't (and doesn't have to) act on our timing to provide for us according to His plan and His will.

In this case, an apparently random (and potentially tragic) event five and a half years ago (which was no more than a nuisance) had to occur to allow God to care for us at a time when $500 has taken on much more importance.

This isn't the first time something like this has happened since I left my job. Several times, just what we needed, whether financial or simply a word of encouragement, has arrived at exactly the right time.

The message?

Pray you have the foresight to get out of God's way and allow Him to direct you as necessary for His will to be done. Then be prepared and patient to allow His plan to unfold, even when it's not clear what it all means. Because you know what? It doesn't matter if you understand it; God understands it. And that's what matters.



Brenda said...

It is always so hard to listen, be patient and remember that no matter what-- He knows what is best for us and will take care of us. Thank you for the reminder


Mike Brown said...

Thanks Brenda for the reassurance!