I was shocked as I pondered what I had just seen.
(This story is being told with permission)
In one of the churches where I served as lead pastor, there were two wonderful people who loved the Lord with all their hearts. They were both married, but not to each other.
My wife said to me one day, “I think Theresa and James (not their real names) have a thing for each other.”
Because discernment isn’t my best gift, I said, “No way. Not them.”
About two weeks after my wife’s observation, my oldest son and I were going on a camping trip. We would be gone four days and would leave on a Sunday after church.
My son was the absent minded type. He has improved over time. But then, it seemed, he was destined to be an “absent minded professor”. He was always forgetting something.
So, as we were about to leave on that Sunday afternoon, I began my twenty-question routine.
“Did you remember your hat?”
“Did you remember your watch?”
As we backed out of the driveway, “Did you remember your car keys?”
Finally, about five blocks from home I hit on the forgotten item, “Did you remember your wallet?”
“No!” he panicked, “We have to go back.”
I mildly scolded him for his forgetfulness, wheeled our car around, and headed back in the direction of home. He ran into the house, retrieved his wallet, and we were back on the road again.
We were on the freeway for about ten minutes when I looked up at an exit park ‘n ride in time to see James’ truck parked there and him leaning against it. I recognized the truck with a camper shell, though it was a long ways from me, and knew it was him; because that morning in church he was wearing a bright green shirt. I had commented to him how much I liked it. He still had the shirt on and the combination of the shirt and the truck left no doubt.
In the same moment I saw Theresa walking toward him from what I recognized to be her car. I recognized her because her bright blonde hair glistened in the sun, and was also wearing the white blouse I remembered she had on that morning. There could be no mistake. Two vehicles, two shirts, and Theresa’s bright blond hair couldn’t be wrong. James and Theresa were on a rendezvous.
I saw all this in a five second window of time as I passed a freeway park ‘n ride. As I went under the bridge at that exit, I was in a state of shock as I pondered what I had just seen. I took a deep breath and sighed.
My son asked me, “Dad, what’s wrong? Are you OK?” But I was speechless for about five minutes. Finally I said, “Son, forgive me for scolding you for forgetting your wallet. It wasn’t your fault.” I kept it all to myself until our trip was over.
The first thing I did when I returned home was apologize to my wife for not believing in her discernment and then I confronted these two precious people. God used it all to put a halt to a very dangerous situation that was occurring at a turbulent time in their lives.
I marvel at God’s power, wisdom and mastery over the details of our lives. It boggles my mind to think that God could use a green shirt, blonde hair, a boy’s forgetfulness, an exact five-block-distance, and a scheduled rendezvous between two people, to rescue them from something that was attempting to destroy their lives and futures forever.
But what boggles my mind even more is God’s attentiveness to every detail of our lives today. He did the same thing in the Bible in stories like those of Esther and Cornelius. But it brings me great peace, and a great sense of awe to know that He will also do it in the lives of those He loves today.
God is sovereign.