Sometimes, I get caught up in the busyness of the day, and forget to recognize when things are out of my control. However, God always finds a way to remind me that He knows my struggle, even when I lose focus. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV). Many years ago, I believed in coincidences, but my spiritual journey (which will last until Jesus calls me home to heaven with Him) has taught me that there are no coincidences. I believe God allows things to happen to teach us, remind us, test us, correct us, and/or simply bless us. Allow me to share with you a specific day that illustrates my belief.
It was my day off from work, and I was scheduled to get a massage a 9:00 a.m. I planned to drop my granddaughter to school, and head to my appointment. The night before, my husband asked if I would pick him up from the mechanic shop before my appointment. That morning, I was able to drop her off to school early and pick-up hubby. On the way to my husband, I ran into a major traffic jam. The traffic was moving so slow, I eventually had to detour. Frustration and anxiety set in, as I pondered on the possibility of missing my massage; which I was eagerly looking forward to.
Finally, I reached my husband and dropped him off home. By that time, I was running late for my massage; still hopeful that I would make it on time. Unfortunately, I couldn’t call them to explain my dilemma, because my phone died, and for some strange reason, my car charger would not work. Not to mention, I ran into another traffic jam, which I again had to detour around. As frustration and anxiety started to build even more, I said to myself, “Arlice, you have no power to move these cars out of your way. There is nothing you can do to change this traffic situation. This is out of your realm of control.” In that moment, I began to talk to God. I said “God you knew that this would happen, and you still allowed it. I can’t worry about it, when I get there, I get there. If it’s too late, I will simply explain what happened and reschedule.” I began thanking and praising God for calming my spirit and helping me to release my frustration, and anxiety.
When I finally arrived at the massage location (about 15 minutes late), one of the front desk employees outside, asked me was I Mrs. Larkin. I said yes. He said we have been trying to call you. I apologized and explained that my phone died. What he said next, simply blew my mind. He told me that they were trying to reach me, because my masseuse overslept and was running late. He apologized to me, and asked if they could move my appointment to 10:00 a.m. I thought to myself, are you kidding me. I literally started laughing and said Oh My God! The guy thought that I was angry, and he started apologizing again. I said no apology needed; I was running late too, so I have no problem moving my appointment. In fact, it gave me time to go to the cell phone store nearby to check my phone and charger. “And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28 NIV).
When I returned for my 10:00 a.m. appointment, I was advised that my masseuse was adding a complimentary Aroma Therapy Oil for my inconvenience. I said I wasn’t inconvenienced, but I will take it. I almost felt guilty about accepting it, but I thought “don’t block your blessings.” Three of the oils grabbed my attention: Detox, Relax and Recharge. To be honest, I needed them all, but I felt an urge to choose Relax. It was what God was trying to teach me all morning, through everything I’d experienced. Simply relax, to decrease so that He can increase in me and give me peace. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV).
Wow, right? A morning that appeared to be going left, went ooooh so right. In fact, both detours I took to avoid the traffic, forced me to take right turns to move forward. I find it awing when I clearly experience God’s word come alive in my life. “God’s word is a lamp to my feet, and I light to my path” (Psalms 119:105 NIV). When I allow His words to illuminate my day, I can relax, because He is in Control!
Pressing Towards the Mark.