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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Divine Appointments

You may have picked up from some of my posts this last week that we went on vacation. We went to the beach in Destin, Florida.

We planned this vacation back in January. Those of you who read here regularly know that we are at a difficult time financially since Mike lost his job and the projects for his contract work have been slow to come in. I remained open, but honestly never sensed God tell us to not go once all of the news about our job and financial situation became reality. Just to be clear, we do not go on this trip alone as my mother in law travels with us and does help with the expenses. If it were not for that, we probably would have cancelled it immediately. However, it was not until the day before we left that I started thinking that we needed to cancel the trip.

I had suddenly become concerned about how it would appear to everyone who knows our current situation that we were going on vacation. I thought that we would appear irresponsible by going out of town to the beach for close to a week.

And then, at some point, it dawned on me that if all I was concerned about was appearance then I just needed to get that out of my head. Being concerned about how something appears to another is not a good reason to change plans. I then sensed God calming my spirit and saying to me that maybe He had a plan for us this week while we were gone.

That plan became apparent very quickly as it seemed that almost every day (5 out of 7 to be exact) we encountered someone that needed help; someone that we could minister to.

On Friday as we were driving on our way from Dallas/Fort Worth toward Shreveport, we were coming around a truck and noticed a car stopped with two women outside of it. By the time it registered with Mike and he said, “Should I stop and help?” it was too late to do anything. But neither of us could get it out of our heads. So we exited at the next exit which was a mile or so down the road, turned around, drove back, exited and turned around again only to find that some one was helping them. It may have been one of their husbands that they had already called on their cell phones. Who knows. But our minds were at rest that they were taken care of, so we continued on… only to come upon someone else stopped with her hood up who wasn’t there the first time we drove by.

She was clearly not as well off as the other women we passed. She was alone. She had no cell phone. Her car was overheating and the radiator had finally bubbled over and I could see the puddle of water underneath her car. There was nothing, not a gas station, fast food restaurant or anything around for miles. It was hot and we could not let her wait there by the side of the road for her parents to come from Tyler, easily an hour away. We rearranged some things in the car, shuffled some seats, made room amidst all our junk and brought her into our car and gave her a ride to a gas station in Canton which was a good 15-20 minutes by car.

She was absolutely the sweetest thing ever and it just boggles my mind that she is who we were supposed to help. God put the other women on our hearts who likely already had someone on the way to help, but this woman is who He had in mind for us to help. I love him and His sweet provision.

On Saturday on the road from Jackson, MS as we headed toward Mobile, AL we stopped to help another woman who had a blow-out. We stayed until some police officers showed up because they were going to have to figure something out has her lug wrench wouldn’t fit the bolts on her tire. The bizarre thing with that situation was that it was a brand new car and brand new tires.

On Monday it was the situation I wrote about in this post.

On Wednesday, we had decided to take a family and kid oriented 3 hour cruise and fishing trip. A little boy cut his thumb (on something he shouldn’t have been messing with) and I was able to help him and his dad get it bandaged up as his mom had her hands full with a 4 month old. We also were able to offer him an ice pop (popsicle) which very much helped his tears to disappear.

As it turns out, it was a miracle that I had band-aids at all. Among the million other things that I forgot to take on this trip was our first aid kit, so I bought some band-aids at the Wal-Mart when we did our grocery shopping for the week. I happened to see them as we were leaving to meet the boat and put them in my bag because you just never know.

And can I just give myself snaps for a moment that I helped bandage up a bloody finger without passing out? I didn’t once even feel light headed. I was proud of myself.

On Thursday as we were on our way back up toward Jackson from Mobile, we witnessed a single car wreck. We were headed north and all of the sudden, right in front of us, we saw was this car veer off the road, catch a tire in the center median ditch, flip over and land facing south in the southbound lane of traffic. Mike immediately stopped to help and I grabbed the phone to call 911.

Amazingly, the two probably college aged girls got out of the car and walked away from it. It was a sweet sight to watch one of them as she opened her door and stepped out of that car. The bad thing was that I had little to no idea where we were, but the 911 operator was so sweet and kept asking me questions about what we had passed and what I could see around me. The girls were okay and Mike got them a couple of bottles of water from our ice chest. Several other people had stopped as well and police were on the way, so we were able to head on our way.

It seems like we were around a lot of drama this last week. But looking back, I believe these situations were divine appointments. They were opportunities for us to step out of ourselves and help other people; and to do so in front of our children. I believe that was the plan God had for us this week and we would have missed it if I had acted on my concern about appearances.

As I sit here at home and look back on the week, I am newly mindful that God has a plan for us and wants to bless us through that plan. What is His plan for you today? Have you sought it? Are you going to miss it because of superficial concerns?

Be open to whatever He has for you even if it takes you off of your intended path. You will be blessed.


Antique Mommy said...

Wow - what a vacation you had!

Needed to read this this morning. Struggling with my plan, His plan, what I do, what I should be doing, and not being at all clear on any of it. Unrest and losing steam.

I'm glad you are back safe and sound.

beckyjomama said...

beautiful - God is good.

Carrie said...

first of all, holy moley! what an adventure. second of all, what an investment in your husband, children, and whole family this time away was. it was good to be reminded that if we are only worried about something b/c of appearences...then we're not coming at it with the right heart. thanks for that! now, get back to that bread baking. ha ha

tonya said...

For some obvious and not so obvious reasons, I really prayed about this vacation for you and with you. I'm so glad you were met with these divine appointments and brought home more than just sand. I pray it is the start of many divine appointments.

Kim said...

God is gracious is providing ways for us to help others during times when so many have helped us. After all, HE is the one who really started the whole "pay it forward" thing :-)

Glad you had a chance to get away. Especially when you're under a lot of stress, you need times of R&R.