During a long and particularly stressful season of my life, I found myself driving down the road trying to hold back tears and struggling to cope. Not knowing what to do, I asked God to direct me to a place to rest, pray, journal and think. I needed a quiet place but not so secluded that it would be dangerous for a woman alone.
As I ended the prayer, I said aloud and with very little faith… “And, God, it would be so nice if this place would have water.” As far back as I can remember I have enjoyed nature. The icing on the cake has always been a body of water, whether it is a small rushing stream or a beautiful lake. Ocean was out of the question. After all, we are in central Texas!
I continued to pray for God’s presence and direction as I randomly turned off the main street I was traveling, wondering which way I should go next. I took several turns within the neighborhood, all the while looking for a peaceful place to stop. Within minutes, I saw a swing set and pulled toward the curb to get a better look. I found myself next to a uniquely picturesque neighborhood park which included lush trees and grass all around and yes, a lovely lake-like pond, complete with ducks. I was stunned. I kept thinking, “I could have taken one tiny wrong turn …just one…and missed this completely!”
I sat there for a minute thanking God and then sprinted with anticipation toward a picnic table under the trees right next to the pond. A perfect setting to journal, pray and rest! After taking it all in for a bit, and having begun to pray and write, I thought I heard bagpipes. I looked up from my journal and across the pond in a grassy knoll, I saw him. There he was bagpipes, plaid skirt and all. I listened carefully and as he strolled further toward the pond, I began to recognize a rich rendition of “Amazing Grace.”
Ephesians 3:20 “…More than we think or can even imagine…..” I didn’t ask for a spiritually meaningful song. I didn’t even ask for a song. I barely had the nerve to ask for “water”! Yet, here it was…a song “for such a time as this”.
My husband, Don, and I often talk about how there are no coincidences with God. If I was telling him this story right now, he would say facetiously, “Coincidence honey…mere coincidence.” This event screamed, “Planned by God, the Perfect Parent, who knows exactly what we need and when.” At that point, I don’t think I would have been too shocked had I looked up and found writing in the brilliantly blue sky that said, “Just for you, Judy…I love you!” The wonderful part is that it didn’t just encourage me for that day. It continues to encourage me some ten years later. Isn’t that just like God?
Yet, had it not been such a traumatic time, I wouldn’t have thought to ask for “water”. I wouldn’t have been so desperate for a place of calm. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience this unique blessing and recognize it as God’s grace, mercy and provision. Had I not been pressed against the wall, but still God brought me to this setting, my thoughts would have been more like, “How neat…I didn’t know this place was here!”
I would have missed out on the amazement at what God had so obviously done, the joy of feeling so loved, and the memory that continues to touch me to this day. James 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials….” Without them, we would miss so much!
I still don’t always remember to ask. I still don’t always notice and give Him the credit and the glory. And having experienced His obvious care again and again, I still get tightly wound because I am not completely resting in His arms…trusting His hand. Despite these things He continues to touch my life with His unique and noticeably wonderful care. He is touching yours as well. He simply loves us that much!