When my wife was 11 years old, she went with her Papaw to the Dodge dealership as he prepared to buy a new truck.
He walked out with the keys to a 1987 Dodge Power Ram 250, silver grey with burgundy interior, the color scheme picked by his granddaughter. She was tickled to have played a part.
Just last year, about four years after his death, I drove that truck to our farm, the second owner of a vehicle now 30 years old. That day, my wife cried as she sat in the cab of that pickup, rereading her Papaw’s signature on the original sales slip still tucked away in the glove compartment.
My wife never could have imagined the day she rode along that the truck she helped pick would be an important part of our lives today. But God must have smiled that day, knowing it had been His plan all along for that truck to be in our possession, so that the memory of Heather’s grandfather would live on at our farm every day.
A month ago, my son received a telephone call from his college of choice where he will began this fall. Just weeks after they offered him a full ride through scholarships and grants (yes, homeschoolers, it’s possible), they had decided to cancel his chosen major, no explanation given.
And while we may have felt confused and mildly apprehensive the night of the call, God wasn’t, knowing full well His future plan for my son, who knows this college is the place God wants him, film major or not.
I could relate dozens of stories in our lives where what seemed like one simple or crazy moment in time later became an integral part in a much larger journey orchestrated by the One whose sovereignty reigns at all times.
There was that time I went to college, only to later regret my choice and transfer to another school and wind up exactly where I would meet the woman God intended to be my wife. There was the day I knew we’d have to leave Nepal, having spent more time preparing to live there than actually living there… which eventually led us to a ministry role with a larger impact while being based on the other side of the U.S.
God was in control each of those individual moments, knowing full well the small part they would play in my long life despite seeming so much bigger and singular to me at the time.
I remember in high school, during a difficult time, a friend gave me a copy of what’s known as the “Serenity Prayer.” Then, I struggled to “accept the things I cannot change”—in short, giving it up to God so He could be in charge.
Now, I’m more likely to breathe, pray and wait, knowing that what I don’t know, my Father in heaven does, and that as it all shakes out, there He will be next to me and one step ahead all the way.
It’s a bit more comforting these days when adversity strikes, but it took years of struggling through difficult times to see the point where my acknowledging a lack of control is all God needs to work away in my life.
He’s in the little choices such as truck cab and body color as well as the big decisions such as leaving one school behind for another. And I’m glad, because whenever I try to get in the way, usually nothing happens until I realize it’s time to step away and let God be the designer of my path.