Pre-empted Plans

Today’s Reading: Esther 1:1-3:15

I have to tell you that the story of Esther is by far one of my favorites. There are so many things that are significant within its pages, the complete absence of any reference to even the name of God, yet the tell tale signs of His Almighty presence in the salvation of His people. It’s just an amazing story. To me, the pinnacle moment within the story is when… oh no! We haven’t gotten there yet! I can’t ruin it for you! Sigh… OK, well, I guess I’ll just have to save that message for some other day.

I guess, instead, I’ll tell you a story that I’ve been holding onto. It’s a story about my prayer partner Tammy attempting to take me to this little café that she found downtown. They have a lot of outreaches there and she wants to take me there to meet the owner so that we might be able to make some connections between our ministries. So Tammy and I had made plans to drive down there together. I would put my son on the bus, jump into Tammy’s car with my daughter and then drop Tammy’s daughter off at school before heading over to the café. Well, it’s about an hour long drive downtown from where we live so we had some time in the car to talk and what not. During a brief lull in our conversation I checked my daily devotional app on my phone. I thought it was a good one and decided to share it with the car. I read about how God gives us double blessings for our troubles. Now, you know I tell the truth, so when I say I had just finished reading the devotional when “it” happened; you have to understand that I mean I had no more than said the last word in the devotional about double blessings for our troubles when the car started steaming. Yup! Honest to goodness. So even though the car had just been in the shop less than a week before to get the oil changed and everything under the hood checked, the sweet smell of coolant came pouring out in its gaseous form to tickle my nostrils with the characteristic smell of a water pump issue. Now of course we were on no less than the biggest interstate in Indiana at the time that this happened, so we pulled over to the side of the road in the hopes that the engine might cool off enough to get us the rest of the way to our desired destination for the day. We may have waited all of a minute before striking out once more, if nothing else than to get off the interstate to a much smaller and less dangerous spot to be on the side of the road. We managed to get to the necessary off-ramp before the car wouldn’t go any further and stopped on its own. Tammy put the poor ole girl in park and called the school, “Yup, we’re on the side of the road, she’s going to be late.” Next she called the lady at the café, “Ummmm, we don’t know when we’ll be there; we’re on the side of the road.” “YOUR ON THE SIDE OF THE ROAD! What happened???” And as the story poured out, the lady at the café said those wonderful words “Well, let me pray for you!” So together, we four girls in the car and the one on speaker phone bowed our heads in prayer over the situation asking that God’s will would be done and that His angels of protection would surround us throughout this ordeal. The lady had no more than finished praying when the black unmarked police car with a beautiful red head in the driver’s seat pulled up behind us, lights flashing – God’s sign to me that help is on the way… or HERE in this case!

Michelle the police officer strolled up to our car, all six months of her pregnancy in full view and glory, she truly did glow – at least for us she did anyway, but maybe that was because she was the beginning of the answer to our prayers! For the next hour Tammy and I talked to Michelle about her pregnancy and our own pregnancies, a very common denominator among women, while we waited for the state’s version of Triple A to show up. I think it was about the second or third time that Michelle went back to her car to check on the progress of the mechanic that Tammy and I realized that we had twenty copies of my latest book “The Pink Polka dot Kitty” in her trunk and both decided that she needed a free signed copy! It is dedicated to moms after all and she was about to become one! I had just given her the copy when the light flashing State Police car pulled up. The gun-toting officers stepped out to see what all the fuss was about and took a gander under the hood propped open to cool. The female state officer took control of the situation and told Michelle to call a tow rather than the mechanic that must have been on the other side of town when he got the call. So she called in for the tow truck assistance and the State troopers left to investigate a van that had “caught her eye”.

The troopers had been gone only a few minutes when not one roadside assistance vehicle pulled up, but TWO at the exact same time (the mechanic and the tow truck driver)! In our time of trouble we didn’t get one police car, we got two; we didn’t get one roadside assistance vehicle, we got two!

Our trouble had been an object lesson that God was teaching us, and has become one of my FAVORITE stories to tell lately. God doesn’t just tell us He will bless us, He DOES bless us. He doesn’t just bless us once; He blesses us over and over and over again. In this world we will have trouble, it’s just a fact. BUT, we don’t need to fear that trouble, because we can overcome those troubles. And we can rejoice in them because we know that God will not only bless us in those troubles, but He will doubly bless us for them as well. One of my favorite sayings while in adversity is “God doesn’t let stuff like this happen to me for nothing.” As a daughter of the Almighty King of Heaven and Earth I have such a tremendous and impenetrable hedge of protection around me that there is NO WAY that the Enemy can get through it… unless there is a purpose. And I have the faith and assurance that that purpose is for my good and not my harm. That it is for the good of not just me, but for everyone that I ever have contact with. That everything that I experience in this life is shaping and molding me to be the woman God wants me to be. So when my regularly scheduled day gets pre-empted with something unexpected I have the assurance of knowing that God is doing something in my life that is important and I can rejoice in the silver lining of the rain cloud hovering over me at the moment because I know that the sun WILL come out tomorrow and it will bring with it such tremendous blessings that I have never known before. Yes, life has troubles, but Jesus has overcome each and every one of them and through Him so can we.

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