Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

His Providence – My “pluck-pluck-plop” theory

on January 28, 2014

So, almost 3 years ago to this exact date, I became thoroughly CONVINCED that God is intimately concerned with every detail of my life!

I was at work.  Nothing abnormal about my day.  Just going about my business.  I made a  decision that day to leave work at lunch and get “Wendy’s”.  (This is not a typical thing I do)  On the way there, I was listening to a Christian radio station, which was a fairly new music choice in my life.  Suddenly the radio waves  were filled with static and another station broke through.  The lyrics screamed at me…. “Burnin with the devil….!”  (Are you familiar with the song I’m referencing here?)  I immediately shut off the radio, shuddered, and continued driving.

Upon turning into the shopping area which contained the Wendy’s I thought I was seeking, I made a new decision.  I decided maybe I could get something healthier at Meijer.  So the “right turn” became a “left turn” instead.  It’s funny how, at the time, I believed that these “decisions” I was making actually belonged to ME.

As I was turning into a lane to find a parking spot, I noticed a woman.  She was hurriedly crossing the parking lot, one child on her hip, one attached to her hand, and another running astray.  I could tell she was yelling at the 3rd child to come back to her side (I could tell because I am also a mother of 3, and we just understand these things…) Anyway, I immediately sensed, and empathized with, her situation.  I felt a strong urge to encourage this woman and let her know that she was a “good mother”.

**side note here….this is NOT something I typically did during that time of my life.**

I quickly parked my car, and made a “bee-line” for the store.  I desperately looked around for the young mother I had seen outside.  I spotted her down the center aisle, heading for the pharmacy section.  The hairs on my arms literally stood up, as I began to pursue this woman like a predator pursues its prey.  I vaguely recall feeling that this woman was going to think I was a lunatic, the way I was planning to just waltz right up to her and tell her she was a good mom.  But the thought would NOT leave me.  This was something I HAD to do.

*         *        *

I feel like you should know two very important things here before I continue this story.

1.  I was not a Bible-believing Christian at this point in my life, although I was seeking.  I had begun to have some conversations with a good friend about Christ, here and there. She had turned me on to Christian music, which I found to be both positive and encouraging, and I had begun to desire a different way of living.  The thought of reading the Bible had occurred to me around this time, however it intimidated me and I was unsure where to start.  I had a friend that I knew had “converted” to Christianity, but I had ostracized her over the years due to her dramatic change, and I felt guilty even considering reaching out to her now.  Her name was Christina.

2. I was not used to stepping outside of my comfort zone for ANYTHING at this point of my life, so it was an incredibly big deal for me to “chase” this woman down the aisles of Meijer just to tell her she was a good mom. This was the first time I listened to what I now understand to be “God’s leading”.

*         *        *

 OK, back to the story.  So, I’m basically hunting through the aisles of Meijer to find this young mother and her 3 children.  Finally, I spotted them.  Her back was still to me.  I never did see her face, but no matter, I just knew she needed to hear what I had to say to her. I went to gently tap her on the shoulder, but I never had the chance.  She turned around to face me first.  Her face lit up. 
“Dawn!”  she cried joyfully, wrapping me in an authentic embrace.  “How are you?  I have been praying for you!  I’m so glad to see you.  This isn’t my typical day to be at Meijer, but….”  She went on, but I didn’t hear a single word.  I was standing in awe for what felt like 10 minutes (I’m sure it was only 30 seconds).  The woman chatting away at me about how she had been praying for me, how she had hoped to see my dad at an upcoming event to ask him how I was, how she was totally off her normal schedule….was Christina.  The very same Christina that had been coming to mind lately, but I had continuously “brush aside” in fear of her rejecting me.   This very same Christina was standing in front of me right now.  The words that came next, from my mouth, came without my consent.
“I have been thinking about you.  I was hoping we could get together and talk about the Bible.”
It just so *happened* that she was available that exact day because her Pastor’s daughters had been looking for ways to serve and they were coming over to babysit her children.
I never did get to tell her what a “great mom” I thought she was.  Funny thing, that was never the intended purpose for our encounter in the first place.  God had been working on that meeting for far longer than I can even understand.  It was His divine appointment, not mine.  It was for His purposes, not mine.  Something was sent into motion that day.  Something that has continued growing and changing, deepening and strengthening….that something is my relationship with Christ.
Christina and I met once a week for about 6 months.  She mentored me through the book of John.  We had wonderful conversations about who Christ really is.  My life has never been the same since.
That was my first experience with “Radical Obedience” to God.  It was the first time, I allowed Him to manipulate my circumstances for my good and His Glory!  It was not the last time, thank goodness.  For a few years that followed that day, I called circumstances such as this one, my “Pluck-Pluck-Plop” theory, because I had no other explanation.  I believe that sometimes God just plucks us out of our comfortable little places in life, and plops us right in the path of another, in order to achieve the purpose that He has set into motion since before time was even created.  Today, I have grown in my knowledge of God and His character.  I understand my “Pluck-Pluck-Plop” theory to actually be God’s Providence.  He does, in fact, orchestrate our circumstances in order to achieve His plan for our lives.  When we say YES, He starts MOVING in a powerful way!
What do you need to say “YES” to today?
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