One of the fascinating aspects of the story about the woman
Consider the things that might have happened to cause the woman to get to the well a few minutes early or a few minutes late...and miss Jesus.
If we could see an overview of our lives, I think it would reveal a rich and beautiful tapestry of decisions, influences, surprises, successes and failures, times of elation, boredom and drudgery, all of it orchestrated and/or used by God to bring us down a carefully laid path to where He wants us to be.
We may not always like where we are. But, if we truly believe God is sovereign, we are always where He wants us to be. God uses the mountain top, the valley, the wilderness and the land of plenty to draw us nearer. The tapestry is always woven by His hand, always revealing His presence in our lives.
We caught a peek at the tapestry yesterday at church.
Right after the service, folks were welcoming our new Pastor, Seth and his wife, Beka. Kelly was chatting with Beka's mom,
Terry Kubik. Terry and Alan made the trip from Orlando with Seth, Beka. We're all excited and eager to see what God does in and through Seth and Beka in the life of our church family. The Kubiks are excited about this new chapter in Seth and Beka's life. But the moment is bittersweet for them as they move their loved ones 900 miles up the coast. Still, Alan, a godly man, has been confident that this was all God's plan from the moment we contacted Seth and asked to interview him.
Yesterday, Alan's confidence got a boost.
Kelly spent her high school years in Orlando, where we met. She was chatting with Terry about their common hometown and found more things in common than they thought. They lived on the same side of town, in roughly the same neighborhood, at approximately the same and attended the same local college.
Do you see the weaving beginning to appear?
From there, they discovered they went to the same high school. Then they found they were in the same graduating class! Not only that, but they had actually been in a few classes together! They had common friends, teachers, classroom, experiences...God was unfolding a plan that was at least 35 years, if not two generations, in the making, right before their eyes.
The tapestry was amazingly intricate and wondrous.
There was great joy, blessing and peace, all at once (and a lot of giggling and laughter.) Further discussion revealed that Terry's parents live in the same neighborhood where Kelly's mom lives, approximately three streets away!
God was working on bringing Seth to Warrenton for quite some time. All the while, He was working in our lives as well, forming an amazingly complex, awesomely beautiful tapestry in order to put on display His great love for His children and His absolute, sovereign, immutable and perfect plan for our lives.
Look at the results! Alan and Terry are no longer leaving their daughter and son-in-law with aliens in an alien land. Seth and Beka can take joy and peace in a difficult decision to trust God, uproot themselves from all they are familair with and begin anew. The church family at WBF can bask in answered prayers and heartfelt desires to honor God in all we do.
When I sat before a local ordination council, ten years ago, the moderator said this prior to recommending ordination for ministry, "John, we acknowledge your calling. If you ever face a dark hour in your ministry, remember this day when you sat before twelve men of God...and they affirmed that you are right where God wants you to be. Don't despair in that moment, know God is with you and learn from it." That had a huge impact on me as we faced the struggles of realizing there was so much to learn and so much to thank God for, every day.
God's tapestry should be that same type of encouragement, keeping us level headed and thankful for our triumphs...and
keeping us humble and trusting in our stumbles, always aware that God is in control and using whatever we are going through to refine us, sanctify us and bring us closer to Him. It doesn't make the hard times any easier. Painful times can still be painful. But it does, at all times, give us hope for the future and the promise of glory regardless of what we endure today. God's tapestry is His promise, His deposit, on our future in eternity with Him (Php 1:6).
The blessings continue. When we got home last night, Kelly looked in her yearbook. She found a note from Terry, "...let's keep in touch!"
Indeed...and Amen! The tapestry is not yet finished. It continues to be woven by the Master Craftsman. I can hardly wait to see what it reveals next.