Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
Recently, my wife and I have been 'stumbling' along while we are 're-deployed' to the United States for a season. This is the first time in our lives where we truly don't know where we are going or where we are heading. We have our long-term plans ironed out, but for the time being our lives are on hold due to the Covid pandemic, as well as some other factors.
But the Lord reminded me of an event that took place a few years ago, a friend booked a meeting for us that somehow didn't make it onto our calendar ... oops.
On the day of the meeting, I received a phone call inquiring what time we'd be arriving. Caught completely off guard, we quickly packed up and headed hours in the opposite direction we were expecting to go. It was a small, sweet meeting and a blessing to have arrived even after the scheduling glitch.
Afterward, we had a long drive to our next meeting as we originally had planned to be driving from elsewhere. As we drove down a lonely, seemingly deserted highway in the middle of the night, suddenly all the lights in the car started going berserk, on and off, on and off. I couldn't control the steering wheel and barely work the brakes. It's was really scary.
Somehow I managed to stop the car. Thankful that nothing serious happened, we just sat there in shock, trying to figure out what we were gonna do now, when just at that moment, a driver pulls up behind me, and together, we pushed our car off to the side. He "just happened" to be a mechanic, and within minutes he determined that the alternator needed to be replaced. Then, a police patrol car "just happened" by. After explaining my situation, the officer offered to drive by the car often to keep an eye on it over the course of the night until the alternator could be replaced the next morning. The mechanic drove us to a nearby hotel and early in the morning went to fix the car. We were roadworthy by 9 A.M!
It was so amazing how the Lord orchestrated every detail -- the entire sequence seemed synchronized as though some benign cosmic clockmaker had timed every step.
Getting on our way, I checked the map to discover we were a short ride to Big Trees National Park. This amazing site hosts giant Sequoia trees that have stood for over a thousand years rising hundreds of feet in the air.
So, because of the unplanned meeting and Lord's providence for our vehicle, we were able to experience this special place on the way to our next meeting.
In the midst of this amazing forest, there was a tree with a tunnel that was carved out over a century ago! (see our kids here on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7quaxWvTgnQ ).
Ever since I was a kid I wanted to walk through that tree -- and through a bizarre set of circumstances, I could finally do it.
Interestingly, less than a year later a powerful storm in California brought down that iconic tunnel-tree. If we had postponed or canceled this ministry visit, or if any of the crazy circumstances would have been different, we would ever have been able to experience walking through it -- an opportunity forever missed.
The road we are traveling may have many twists, turns, and pitfalls. We will often be perplexed with our circumstances, wondering, even agonizing over why things happen the way they do. Yet we have a Heavenly Father who loves to surprise and delight us, and who will often bring us through strange pathways to do it. Plan your way, be faithful to His Word, and watch in wonder as your divine opportunities emerge on the adventure God has planned for you. When they arrive, seize them with joy and thanksgiving. He has ordered your steps faithfully with great loving care!