When people realize I have eight children, they often remark, “You must be so patient!” Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. When I want something done I want it done yesterday — or at least now. Recently the Lord took a frustrating situation that tested my patience and reminded me my timing and priorities are different than His and that He often places me exactly where I need to be when I need to be there.
Earlier this year, my husband’s company offered to include us on their corporate Costco membership, so when ours expired we had new cards made under their account. The cards worked fine at registers inside the store, but when we tried to buy gas it showed our membership as expired. The employees were always helpful — they made us at least two more sets of cards, and someone always activated the pump for me — but I buy most of my gas at Costco and felt like a fraud every time I had to explain to an attendant that my account was active even though the screen said it wasn’t.
I finally decided to wait at the membership desk until they were certain the problem was fixed. Little did I realize it would require two hours from a day two weeks before a book deadline, when every minute of my day counted.
Employees conferred, called corporate, and tested my card time after time while shaking their heads in confusion. No one had ever seen this problem. A smile masked my inner turmoil as the minutes ticked by and I glanced at my watch too often. Finally, the glitch was found — hooray! — and I would be on my way soon.
A young mom circled behind me, parked her shopping cart, then walked over to get her picture made for a new membership card. A two-year-old girl, strapped in the seat of the cart, had recently covered her arms and legs with black ink. Her one-year-old brother sat beside her in only a diaper. An infant car seat carrying a newborn rested in the cart’s basket.
My mind flashed back to a time when I shared her season of life, although my babies weren’t that close together. All three were content, but any mother knows that can change at any moment for no apparent reason.
And suddenly I knew why I still stood there: I was there for such a time as this.
“You’re doing such a good job,” I smiled, looking into her eyes, as she returned to her cart. She knew I really saw her. A mother can go days without really being seen.
I admired her babies and told her I now have grown children, grandchildren, and teenagers at home, reassuring her these crazy days will pass. She asked questions she needed answered, including whether my children were in college. Moms survive the day-to-day but look to their children’s futures with hopes for what lies ahead.
I walked away knowing this brief encounter was meant for her — and me — all along.
At the end of my Costco shopping trip, I stopped at the floral display. I was writing the final chapters of a book on fifty-two essential oils and needed to photograph several more of the plants they come from. As I studied the individual bouquets and the flowers and greenery they contained, a young woman standing beside me in jeans and a t-shirt asked if I needed help finding something. She was the floral buyer, stopping by the store, and she referred me to a delightful nursery where I later found many of the trees, plants, and herbs I sought.
Once again, I thanked God for His perfect timing, so much different than I would have chosen on my own.
The next time circumstances try your patience, stop and observe. Take a deep breath and cool your jets.
Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.
Romans 8:25 (CSB)
Tell us of a time when His timing was perfect in your life — perhaps a time when someone was placed in your path who needed encouragement or a special moment that wouldn’t have happened at a different time.
The next time circumstances try your patience, stop and observe. Take a deep breath and cool your jets. -@DawnMHSH: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
God plopped an opportunity right into my lap. I debated whether I could handle this job on top of running a Christian non-profit and keep writing my blog?? But when I zipped up my all-too-lovely neon, reflective vest and picked up my super-large “STOP” sign, I trusted that I was headed to a God-ordained position. Yes, I’m the crossing guard for the elementary school that is practically in my back yard. I love the hugs and high-fives I get from the kids, but I especially enjoy the opportunities I have to encourage young parents. I see both mothers and fathers pushing double wide strollers while walking their grade-schooler to school each day. Some days just having three kids dressed in something?? and getting out the door on time is a MAJOR accomplishment. They need to know this!! Having been there, done that, I am thankful for the opportunity to get to love on these young parents who wonder if they are doing a good job. Like you, Dawn, I find myself exactly where I need to be, so I cool my jets, and wait for God’s cues. Lovely post!
Dawn Camp says
Bev, I just love this job of yours. You are encouraging ones who need it so much!!
What a great job! As well as encouraging others I see God giving this job for the benefit this encouraging and connection gives you too Bev. I hope it brings you Joy in your heart!
Wow Gods timing couldn’t get any better than this. Here I am so thinking about my marriage. At the time it’s kind of shaky. My husband is a believer but he hasn’t fully surrendered his life to Him. He constantly lives with anxiety, is always angry, blames everyone for things that don’t turn out like planned and is under major stress.
I just finished praying believing that God is working in his life. I am professing God you are making me wait because you are preparing him and I for greater things. You have me here at this time for a reason and your timing is perfect.
I just started bawling after reading this. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me that God is good all the time.
Beth Williams says
Praying for you sweet sister. May God change your husband’s heart completely. May He finally “see the light” & become fully devoted to Him. Things can & will change only in His perfect timing. Don’t give up. Keep praying. I will lift you both up to God for the transformation you need. May God guide you both to the next steps you nee to take for healing.
Dawn Camp says
I pray you see God’s perfect timing in your husband’s life and your relationship. Yes, He is good all the time!
LOVED this, Dawn! I constantly remind myself that delays and unforeseen circumstances are often from the Father to keep us someplace or keep us from something for good reason – to minister, for our safety, for family or friends…. His timing is perfect even when mine says NOT NOW!
Blessings to you and yours!
Dawn Camp says
Indiane, we just need a little reminder sometimes, don’t we? Blessings to you!
I really needed to hear this! Your right Hods timing is always perfect even when we don’t understand the bigger picture!
Michele Morin says
How ironic is it that with my ironclad theology about the sovereignty of God, I fall apart when the minutes of my day don’t line up according to MY plan…?
Dawn Camp says
You are not alone, Michele! I get so frustrated. I’m so glad He reminded me of this lesson.
I can relate to this story so many times! Thank you for sharing and reminding me to make the most of the opportunity through the fruit of patience.
Everything truly does happen for a reason. I got into my first minor fender bender (thank God, very minor) not that long ago. I hit the back of someone’s car on the highway. As I got out of the car to approach the person whose car I hit, I was so afraid thinking of how mad they would be. I ended up meeting the kindest older woman who treated me like her own child. She wiped my tears and told me everything would be okay. When the cop came, he was also so kind. Not giving me a ticket and reassuring me that I didn’t have to fear and I would drive again. Their kindness made such a difference that day and I am forever grateful God placed such nice people in my path during that experience. ❤️
Dawn Camp says
Stephanie, I just love this. There’s a blessing in sharing a bad experience with good people.
Kit Tosello says
Needed this reminder today. Thank you, Dawn!
Heidi Roesli says
I still remember a horrible morning that God used in my life many years ago. I was a single Mom of three who desperately needed to find a job. I planned my day on a time schedule to get the kids to school then come home, get ready and pound the pavement. I had a list of potential employers and a stack of resumes. However, everything that morning seemed to stand in the way and delay me leaving the house. Just as I was ready to go, I heard a knock on my door. It was my elderly neighbor. Her teenage Grandson had been walking to school that morning when he was hit by a car and died instantly. She said she needed someone to pray with her and thought of me. God had a plan for me to be home that morning and it was my honor to pray with her and mourn with her. ❤️
Dawn Camp says
Heidi, sounds like your delay enabled you to be an angel in disguise. 🙂
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
God has all where he wants us. In the Family’s he wants us. There is a person in my Church who once said God don’t make mistakes. That is so true. My late Mum who in my life time I never heard or saw her give her life to the Lord. But she used to say to me Dawn were did I get you from. You go Church say your prayers read and read your Bible. I say Mum God has me hear for a reason. I did pray for her Salvation. You couldn’t tell her about getting saved as row go up. So I believe God has put me into the family I am in to pray for them all. As I am the only one saved in my family Cousin Nieces Nephews Aunts Uncles Dad Sister’s there Husbands. My Husband is saved. I pray for their salvation. I can’t tell them they need to get saved. As a row go up. They say keep your religion too yourself. So I know God has me in my family for a reason. To live my life as Christian in front of them. Pray for them. That one day they will see the light of Jesus in me. Want what I have and that is too know Jesus for themselves. I am not going to give up praying for their salvation. Should it take 20 or more years. For them to get saved. As I am not going to let the Devil wishiper in my ear give up they are not coming. No never. As I read one day in the Our Daily Bread a few years ago a Mothetr prayed for her sons salvation for over 20 years. She never gave in or stopped praying for him. This gives me great home for my family. To never give up and keep praying for them. One day he walked into the kitchen on the table was the Our Daily Bread and word of it made him get saved. On the front cover. So his Mother prayers of 20 years where answered that days. She never gave up. No gave into the Devil. So God had her where he wanted her. Like he has me where he wants me. Excellent reading again. Thank you. Xx
Beth Williams says
I get frustrated easily also. Usually when I’m tired & trying to get things done or get somewhere. Unfortunately I have my dad’s personality-outbursts quickly. I’m learning that God’s timing is so much better than mine. I rush around so & don’t accomplish any more than I would if I slowed down-just feel frazzled. I feel I have been placed at my little church for just this time. I have some good friends I can call if problems arise. More importantly they make me smile in the midst of trials. They are lovable “crazy” people who make me laugh. Life is so good when I get to see them. Earlier this year I was let go from a part-time job. Most people would be upset, but not me. I knew God had something better in store for me. Sure enough two weeks later I was offered a “part-time” job at a local hospital working ICU Step Down clerical. This is exactly where I need to be. I can encourage patients, their families, RNs & others. Have prayed for my co-workers & seen God work in their lives. One friend was certain she had cancer–praise God no & she found a different job with better hours for her. What started out as two days a week has turned into 2 days one week, 3 the next. Plus I fill in when either secretary needs off. God’s timing could not be more perfect.
Thank you Beth for what you do! As an RN, I can tell you that your job is SO important, whether others always show their appreciation or not. God Bless You!
Dawn Camp says
Beth, it sounds like you’re in just the right place in church and work. Blessings!
thankyou for en couraging that mom !!
when my kids were so small I was frustrated and pushing a cart overflowing with groceries across a deep snow filled parking lot. I kept hitting the snow ruts causing the cart to stop and me to try to regain momentum all while ice and snow hit me and my kids in the face..cars turned infront of us causing me to stop..i yelled ” Oh God I need some help”, all of a sudden a cowboy appears..hat & boots and all. pushes the cart the rest of the way to my car within seconds…i turn around to thank him but he’s instantly gone !
young moms need an angel forsure whether by words or actions …be a blessing today !
Dawn Camp says
Krissy, I love this story!! We all need a cart-pushing cowboy to materialize some days. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Barbara Harper says
I can fret over this kind of thing much more than the “major” trials of life. Yet God is in control even over traffic jams and long lines and delays.