Backyard2016Have you ever found yourself in a situation where it seemed as though the planets had suddenly aligned in your favor?

Last year, we were renting a townhouse and we had just increased our family by two babies at once (yes, we thought of having a second child and 8 months later we were welcoming twins. But that’s for a different post).  A couple months after the twins came home from the hospital, my wife and I learned from our landlord that they were going to sell the place, so we had to move out.  Initially we saw it as a good thing.  The place was okay for three people, but it was going to be tight for five.  So we started looking.  We had a dedicated and competent friend help us, but the more we looked, the worse it got.  The market was hot, and the prices were way higher than expected.  Our ideal place would be a stand-alone house with a backyard, and room for our church office.  But we learned quickly that such a place would cost at least $1,000.00 extra a month.

Pressure.

That’s all we felt as the weeks passed.  Our predicament had us searching for two bedroom apartments, in an effort to stay within our budget, but even that was impossible to find.  We placed 3 or 4 offers only to get outbid.  Now, after searching for three months, we had a month to go.  The friend who was helping us was about to get married, so he recommended we get someone else to help.  It was very generous of him.  We had visited so many places.  Done so much research, but to no avail.  And now it was “hail Mary” time.

Forty-five minutes.

That’s all it took for the problem to get solved.  It was 6PM on a Tuesday, and after spending most of the afternoon house hunting with 3 small kids in the car, our friend kindly suggested we bring someone else in to help.  We felt like calling a lady who had helped us previously.  We had not talked to her in months, but she was very helpful during our move from Texas to Connecticut.  When she answered the phone, she said “I was praying in my den this morning, and I felt like I needed to call you.  I was just about to call you.”  We told her what we were looking for and she said “a friend has a place he has not listed yet, but he is looking for a family to rent.  It’s a stand-alone 4 bedroom house, with a backyard.  Would you like to go see?” we were ecstatic!  “when?” we asked, “I can be there in 45 minutes” she said.

The house was old, but well-kept. It was everything we needed, including an office space (which is where I’m writing from right now.) and not only was he asking for the same amount we were paying, but the heating system used gas instead of electric, which would dramatically lower our utility costs through the winter months.  We signed the papers.

This story exemplifies what Scripture tells us.  Many of life’s opportunities are not a matter of ability or capacity, you just have to be at the right place at the right time to seize them.

“The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.” – Ecclesiastes 9:11 NLT

You might not be the wisest, the fastest, the strongest or the most skillful, but there is one thing you and I can do daily.  We can invite God to direct and guide our steps.

May you have the vision, the courage, the confidence, and the wisdom to seize every good opportunity God makes available to you each day, and trust to follow His lead.

Let’s make the most of each day.

-JD