Patriotic holidays are normally the time when we enjoy picnics,
bar-b-ques, football games and other outdoor events.
But sometimes......... it is a time of quiet and reflection.
And enjoy a peaceful dinner on the porch.
As we observe Memorial Day, I am thankful to honor and remember the men and women who gave their lives to keep our
country free. I am thankful for a Savior who saved me from the
punishment I deserve and gave me the free gift of Life eternal. For
it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from
yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can
boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).
For behold, the winter is past, The rain is over and gone. The flowers have already appeared in the land; The time has arrived for pruning the vines, And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land. Song of Songs 2:11-12
Since I discovered thisoverlooked Hollywood gem, I've watched it at least 4 or 5 times. It is a classic romantic comedy starring Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea. It was listed on the NY Times list of the best 1000 films ever made. The movie was remade in 1966 as Walk, Don't Run with Gary Grant, Samantha Egger and Jim Hutton. But as a big Jean Arthur fan, I loved her in the roll of Connie.
Where does this road lead? We may ask that question time and again as we travel through life.
I often think about the appointments God has made for me. Sometimes I think I may not be the right person for the job He has requested of me.
Yet He's never early.
He's never late.
He's right on time.
A couple of years ago my family came along side an International student. A friend of hers, Sarah in Nebraska, sought out someone in Tampa to mentor her. Sarah looked online at the small Christian college that is in our area. She found a listing of a church who supported the school. Going to the church's website, she found that one of the men on staff was someone she had attended school with. Sarah made the contact, asking if there was anyone in the church who would reach out to the girl from Sweden. Rich told Sarah that the church was quite a distance from the University, but he would check and see if anyone was close enough to try to meet the Swedish girl. As it happens we are within four miles of the University, and my daughter made the contact.
For two years, my daughter befriended the Swedish girl. She needed help with some of her English classes, and my daughter was able to tutor her. The Swedish girl was a new believer and a little confused about the faith she had embraced. Over many dinners my husband talked with her and made plain, things that she tried to make harder than really was.
We met her parents two years ago when they traveled to the US during the summer. We felt they were checking out this family that had taken her under wing. When they left, her father gave his blessings that we passed his test.
This past weekend, Swedish girl graduated from the University. Her parents once again traveled here to be with their only daughter. On Friday evening we gathered around our dining room table and broke bread with them and several others, including Sarah, who have endeared themselves to the Swedish girl. She broke down and cried when we showered her with gifts. Her father even wept as he shared that in his culture, there is little expression of the kind of love he had witnessed. My husband made a parting comment which I believe sums up the divine appointment. He said, "I live four miles from where I was born and grew up. Yet it took a girl from Nebraska, who loved a girl from Sweden enough to intervene for her and helped her find people who would step into the gap." On the human level, there is no way the Swedish girl and our family should have ever met. You cannot manufacture those kinds of meetings.
But to me, the real appointment came on Sunday morning. Swedish girl brought her parents to church. I was not sure what to expect, as far as what their reaction would be. Our pastor's message was timely and on target. When the service was over, I noticed the Swedish girl's father talking with my husband. On the drive home my hubby shared that her father told my hubby, in his very broken English, that the words of the pastor had touched something in his heart, pointing to his chest. My hubby stood there, in the middle of the church and shared the Gospel with him. God chose my hubby for this divine assignment.
Who knows? That one divine appointment may have been the reason why the Swedish girl came to the University in Tampa. If it was, in the eternal dimension, it was certainly worth it.
Some day, God is going to reveal how His perfect timing has worked for our good and His glory. God's timing is always perfect, isn't it?
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands ~ Psalm 19:1
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