Have you ever found yourself stuck behind a slow moving truck on a two-lane road where passing is prohibited? Maybe you encountered that rolling roadblock when you’re already pressed for time to get to a meeting. Or perhaps it happens on a day when you’re already tardy picking up the kids from school. Then again, maybe the delay isn’t caused by a slow moving vehicle—it’s caused by an obstinate buffalo staring you down in the middle of the road.
For me, there have been times when I’ve needed to make a tight connection at the airport but my inbound plane arrived too late for me to jog to the connecting flight at the opposite end of the terminal. Not fun.
When things like that happen, I admit there was a time when I allowed frustration to get the better of me. I’d want to know why that seemingly random delay had to happen. I couldn’t foresee any upside to being inconvenienced and I certainly didn’t view it as a means to a Divine Appointment.
I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the way I experienced a shift in my thinking. I came to see that, from God’s viewpoint, there are no accidents. I may not understand why things happen the way they do, but I can take comfort in the fact that the Bible teaches “all things work together for good to those who love God” (Romans 8:28).
The following letter from a businessman is a perfect example of God working the “mistakes” or “inconveniences” or “interruptions” for good:
“I recently took what was supposed to be a one-day business trip to Colorado Springs. Since the hotel where I was staying was very close to Focus, I was hoping to at least have the opportunity to walk around your campus in the evening and pray for the ministry. My plans seemed to fall through when my boss learned that he had booked the wrong hotel which was located on the opposite end of town.
“When we arrived, we received another bit of unexpected news–we needed to stay an extra day. Not only that, but our meeting on the second day ended in the early afternoon, allowing me to visit Focus after all. What an experience! I was totally overwhelmed during my tour as I considered God’s faithfulness to this organization over the years.
“Before I left, I bought one item in the bookstore that seemed to jump out at me for some reason–a book about adoption that was on the clearance rack.
“A few days after I returned home, my wife and I got into an emotional discussion regarding adoption. We’re seriously considering adopting a child, but we have differing perspectives on this matter. As we laid down on our bed, frustrated and exhausted, I pulled from my luggage the book I bought and found a section that dealt with my wife’s concern. It was exactly what we needed to hear.
“As we hugged and cried together, I began to understand why I had purchased that book–God knew we would need it. Thank you! You continue to help my wife and me grow in our efforts to be godly spouses and parents.”
Isn’t that like God? While this traveler experienced an unexpected delay getting home, God used the timing to ultimately bring him in touch with a key adoption resource. God knew this businessman and his wife would profoundly benefit from the insight found in those pages. And who knows? Perhaps they’ll end up providing a forever home for an orphaned child as a result of this unforeseen change in travel plans.
As we head into the New Year, one of my resolutions will be to continue to take things—slow trucks, missed planes, stray buffalo, and the other unexpected twists and turns of life—in stride. I want to be ever-mindful that God is still in control, even when my situation or circumstances are seemingly out-of-control.
Yes, He works all things together for good.