4:15 a.m. at a sparkly high-rise hotel in the Midwest. Unable to sleep, I slip out of bed in my spacious room on the seventh floor and do a few stretches in the dark before donning exercise clothes. I stealthily tuck my feet into sneakers, grab my phone, laptop, water, and room key and ease the door shut behind me. My daughter and her three children are still asleep. After our late-night slumber party, I don't want to wake them just because I have insomnia.
The elevator responds to my call in a few seconds, as if waiting for my arrival and we are off. But it stops again at the sixth floor. The doors slide open and a shadow darts across my peripheral vision. I blink. Did I see that? Out of nowhere, a young blond man darts inside the elevator. He is wearing white socks.
His face registers embarrassment equal to my shock. I promise I didn't stare, but in the brief glance I allowed myself, I noted that both hands shielded his er, um, family jewels?
The doors slide shut and we begin recommence descent.
But, the elevator stops again on the fourth floor. Two young women in army fatigues step on. For a second their eyes widen before the three of us jerk our eyes forward for the rest of the journey to the lobby.
Exiting with exaggerated speed, I peek over one shoulder to make sure the man isn't following us.
He's not. He didn't get out at all.
What a way to start the morning! Not anything like what I expected.
As I tramp along on the treadmill in the fitness room, I imagine how he happened to be out before dawn without any clothes. Where was he headed? Did he get locked out of his room? Was he a victim of hazing? Or a prank gone wrong? I'm quite sure he didn't anticipate a chance meeting with anyone in these early hours.
Unfortunately, I'll never know what happened to that poor guy, but his plight reminds me of the uncertainty of life. My best plans never turn out exactly as I envisioned them. Every day is an adventure. I have a choice to view each unexpected twist or turn as something tragic or frightening, or accept it as an opportunity for growth and learning.
What I do know is that nothing happens TO me, it happens FOR me. God is sovereign and in control of even the tiniest detail. He is never mean-spirited or cruel. Even when the new "whatever" looks scary or impossible to me, God has a purpose for allowing it in my life and His purpose is always good. That I can trust fully. Romans 8:28, "And we know all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose."
In the story of Ruth, God used famine and the death of three husbands to bring Ruth and Boaz together. They became ancestors of King David. Later still, Jesus descended from this same line. Ruth probably wouldn't have chosen or planned the disappointment and heartache that brought her to Boaz, but God manipulated the tragedies of her life to bring about His divine purpose and her ultimate good.
God is completely trustworthy. Where He leads us--even if it looks like a scorching wilderness--He is able to bring forth water and food. He has power to change a barren place into a beautiful garden whose trees bear much fruit.
Back to our reluctant streaker. Not sure what good came of his escapade, but it makes a great story. And it gave me something to write about today. So I'm grateful.
How about you? Do you find yourself in a place that surprises you? Does it feel like you've been stripped bare of your dignity and self-respect? Are you struggling through a tragedy? A disappointment or seemingly impossible situation? God is able to turn your tears and frustration into joy. You choose how to respond. Will you look for God and His work or wallow in sadness, discouragement, and hopelessness? Align yourself with the will of Almighty God. Trust Him to bring eternal fruit out of the worst situation. Live in joy and gratitude and allow the joy of the Lord to bring you strength.
Well lookie there! THE ROAD TO TERMINUS has a new cover! Same great adventure just a different peek at George Stanton and Mabel Crowley. Is that how you imagined them? Haven't read the book yet? Well click on over to Amazon and grab a copy of THE ROAD TO TERMINUS right away. You won't be sorry!