Saturday, October 24, 2015
I had some apprehensions about going. It's a longish trip at 6 1/2 hours, driving through the Milwaukee rush hour, Chicago and then several hours through the relative darkness to Michigan.
My wife and I got turned around in a Milwaukee detour, losing about 20 minutes. We spent much of that time in frustration, raising our voices to one another, then traveling in silence. But we were both on a mission to get there. When we finally arrived, I tripped over a dog gate while walking through my mother's house, landing face down in pain on the tiled foyer floor. But we were there. Finally!
My niece's husband was who I was focused on. For some reason he and I have a great relationship. We share the same birthday (years apart), we both like the Tigers, you know, we were buds. He and my niece have two daughters. His brother who died had one son. I could easily see what God was providing for this now fatherless boy. His uncle, who had no son. A match made in heaven perhaps? Perfect.
So, I felt that I knew what my purpose was in attending this funeral - to deliver a message to the uncle of a fatherless son. Yeah, well, I was wrong. When my wife and I entered the church where the funeral was being held I began to see a different picture of what God had in mind.
There were hundreds of people there. My niece's brother-in-law was a retired professional basketball player and it took a while to wade through the crowd to find our niece and her husband. I reached out my arms to offer a hug and soon felt my niece crying in my arms.
That was the moment I realized I was wrong about our "purpose" in being there. That's when I smiled and said to myself, "You had this thing figured out from the very beginning, didn't you, God?"
It was suddenly very obvious that God wanted my wife and me to make that trip . . . to be there for our niece! Yes, we were there for her husband as well but I think our presence had more meaning for her. As she looked through the crowd containing so many nameless faces, to suddenly see someone she has known all her life must have been somewhat comforting. My wife and I were SO glad we made that trip, to finally reach our destination . . . in the arms of our niece.
God is WAY ahead of us in our thinking and in our actions. He already knows our next move in life and I believe that things often happen beyond our comprehension, all for His glory and the sake of His name. That became very apparent to me a few days ago and it left me with this realization.
Would I make a 6-hour trip in the dark, filled with frustration and silence, to only trip upon my arrival, fall on my face and then walk with a limp for the next few days, just to hug my niece for 10 seconds?
Heavenly Father, you always amaze me. And just when I think I have you just about figured out you go ahead and prove me wrong by doing something I never suspected. The perfect way you weave yourself into the very fabric of who we are amazes me. You are the master orchestrater of ALL things. And to you we give the glory and the praise for you provide for each of your children, every day.
“7 Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? 8 It is higher than heaven - what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know? 9 Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea. 10 If he passes through and imprisons and summons the court, who can turn him back? 11 For he knows worthless men; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it? 12 But a stupid man will get understanding when a wild donkey's colt is born a man!
“13 If you prepare your heart, you will stretch out your hands toward him. 14 If iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and let not injustice dwell in your tents. 15 Surely then you will lift up your face without blemish; you will be secure and will not fear. 16 You will forget your misery; you will remember it as waters that have passed away. 17 And your life will be brighter than the noonday; its darkness will be like the morning. 18 And you will feel secure, because there is hope; you will look around and take your rest in security.” - Job 11:7-18
A C.S. Lewis quote for you this morning:
"You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul. You HAVE a body."
The Broken Road - Rascal Flatts