Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Timing: a God-thing

6:44 p.m. Today's project was to arrive at Starbucks in Riverside's Canyon Crest Towne Centre by 10:00 a.m. and book appointments until 1 p.m. when Steve's caregiver's shift ended. Since I live just up the hill from the coffee shop, I'd have almost three hours to book.

I was utterly groggy and exhausted when I got up at 6 a.m., but have no sleeping-in option, because I let the caregiver in at 6:30. That gives me 1/2 hour to shower and prep before Steve gets up. That is his only unsupervised time slot all day.It was very late when I finished my post last night, due to the troubles Steve had experienced after consuming so much sugar. Of course I had a lot of cleanup to do with the large crowd we had, but that is to be expected. After 23+ years of exercising the gift of hospitality (Romans 12:13;           I Corinthians 12:28b, Titus 1:8) in this house, the Lord has helped me to set my systems in place.

Another aspect I was dealing with was a virtual "hangover" from taking Alka Seltzer Night Time Cold medicine. I probably should have added 2 more hours of sleep with the fizzy tablets. It was a "perfect storm" of weariness!

So, I had my devotions as always, about 2 1/2 mugs of coffee, and set up Steve's breakfast while the caregiver did his morning grooming. Seeing that Steve was ready for the day, had his breakfast, and was headed out with his caregiver and Jada, I just went back upstairs and slept until 9:20.Obviously, I wasn't going to be at Starbucks at 10! Even though I just had to dress and put on my Mary Kay face, I still hadn't eaten my scrambled eggs or brushed my teeth. I noticed a message on my cell from CVS pharmacy about one of Steve's prescriptions; I hadn't packed my inventory, my wrapped gift baskets or binder with customer info into the Jeep. But the Lord knew I needed the rest.

When I arrived at the coffee shop with my Christmas gift cards, I was happy to see that I could get a seat inside, in the cozy corner that I favor if it's not occupied. With my salted caramel frappucino in hand, and a hold on the "2nd one free," I began making my calls with mixed success. But the Lord's encouragement was mixed in as I spent a few moments visiting with the parents of one of Kriss' best friends from elementary school. a little later, I smiled at one middle-aged lady and let her know that a seat next to me was open. I was thinking, "Maybe she'll want a facial!" But she started talking to me right away, and mentioned renting her guest house to UCR (University of California Riverside) students...hmm. I mentioned the UCR Homestay program that we are going to participate in next month, and it turns out that she's been involved for six years.

What made our visit and the quick way we hit it off  so wonderful is that she's a Christian! And that's what makes the timing of my arrival a total GOD THING!!   

We fret so much about the exact time we need to be somewhere, the exact time we need God to deliver us from a trial, or the deadline we set for God to bless us. Then we determine that if deliverance, blessing, or resolution doesn't happen on a date certain, life as we know it will never be the same. I've caught myself, and you have too, feeling utterly sad about my bleak prospects. Then, the Lord unfailingly shows me in His Word yet another example of His mighty saving and keeping power from the foundation of the earth!

Yet somehow, He can't take care of me this month? while the situation may not be, the "poor me" act is laughable for a believer who has seen the Lord deliverance again and again.

David was in a very bad spot in I Samuel 30, when he and his men returned from fighting to find that their encampment in Ziklag burned and all of their wives and children kidnapped. His men were about to stone him in rage and grief. One of the most instructive verses in the Bible (v.6) then says,

But David encouraged himself in the LORD His God.

He consulted the Lord, was told to pursue the Amalekites, he and his men did so, and recovered all who were lost. The Lord was more glorified by that tremendous deliverance than on a day when all was going smoothly.and the same goes for us. We want to glide smoothly along in life, despite the knowledge that life just doesn't go that way for very often. But the Lord has better things for us that we can think of, ever more glorious deliverances from trials and unexpected blessings galore!

I'll be calling my new acquaintance for advice before and during our Korean student's visit, and she may even become a customer. But the Lord had brought a new friend into my life.

In HIS timing!

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