An awful lot of things had to happen for us to be exactly where we were at exactly the time we were there.
Colonial Williamsburg, the John Greenhow gift store entrance, 3:50 pm, on a hot Sunday afternoon in June.
My sister and I decided to stop in historic Williamsburg, Virginia on our drive up to New Jersey from Florida. We had already spent the whole day there, going in and out of buildings, taking tours, listening to presentations. We had planned on waiting to see a Revolutionary War re-enactment of some kind, but it was 93 degrees and we were hot and cranky. So we decided to go into the much-recommended wig-making store instead, but a tour group got in line before us and that hot and cranky thing started again. Then we remembered about going all the way back to a gift shop we had seen earlier in the day at the other end of the town, but stopped outside of it for a few minutes to take pictures of a horse and carriage.
And then I heard a familiar voice call, “Sharon!”.
I was just about through the door of the gift store entrance and whipped my head around to see my best friend and former roommate standing there on the brick sidewalk with her hands on her hips and a “What in the world are YOU doing here?” look on her face.
She got married and moved to Alabama last year, and I haven’t seen her since last summer. I had no idea she had plans to visit Williamsburg, Virginia, on Sunday afternoon, June 10th. And she had no idea about my plans to be 900 miles from my home on that day, either.
Some people might think so. But I think God had this unexpected reunion planned the whole time. And He nudged us to think about leaving the park earlier than expected, and He allowed the line at the wig store to get too long, and He put those horses there so I’d delay going into the gift store by a few minutes. If any of those things hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have been where I was at 3:50pm and Deb and her husband would have walked on by, oblivious to my presence just a few feet away.
God knew ahead of time about the lovely dinner we’d spend together catching up and remembering great times from our past (because my sister and I didn’t make the dinner reservations we originally thought about making. Coincidence?).
God knew we needed that time. He turned hot and cranky into joy and laughter and a reunion we probably couldn’t have planned that well if we had tried.
It reminded me of how many things God must be doing behind the scenes in our lives sometimes to get us exactly where He wants us to be. There are so many details and situations that seem so random to us, but are so planned by Him in order to line things up so that His will for us can unfold.
Sometimes random, coincidental things do happen. But sometimes things happen that have God’s hand all over them. Things that make us smile and look up with grateful hearts.
I’m glad God is in control of my “random coincidences”. I’ll have to remember that the next time I’m hot and cranky.
Many, O Lord my God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou hast done. Psalm 40:5
“For my thought are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways”, says the Lord. Isaiah 55:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Psalm 32:8
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:6