I have been in a weird place lately. Long story short, I haven't been engaging with God and pursuing my faith. I haven't wanted to. But God met me yesterday as I was tanning on my roof. I'm reading a book called Cold Tangerines, which was a gift from my housemate Megan. It was a big step for me to even start reading the book because I've been slowly disengaging with God, so much so that I even stopped listening to Christian music recently.
So I'm reading this book, and the author is going on and on about all this stuff happening in her life and how God is working in her life, and I thought to myself, "It's just not that simple. What about the world's suffering? What about Africa?" It bothered me that she was painting this picture of roses and sunshine. Well, wouldn't you know that the next chapter was about a trip she took to Africa. Any normal person, especially one who is purposefully not engaging with God, wouldn't think much of this... but I have never believed in coincidences, so I couldn't ignore it. God knew I was thinking about Africa. I thanked Him for putting that chapter right there, right after I had thought about it.
It jogged my thoughts to predestination and foreknowledge and free will and all that good stuff. I love that stuff. And I realized, maybe it's none of those things. It's not like God planned everything ahead of time and then just watches it happen. Plan or no plan, the point is, God doesn't just sit up on a cloud and watch things happen. That's the thing about our God... He is actually with us! I think that God has made me to be a certain woman and prepares me for things... it's like we're walking down the street together, and He says, "Hey Jess, let's walk this way towards the diner" because he knows that I'm hungry for pancakes. It's not like I had the thought about Africa, then he stuck that chapter in there. No, he was present with me as I read and got upset, and our next turn on our journey was reading about Africa.
It's a bit like a mischance of wearing an outfit requiring two bras on a date--one bra for support and one sports bra because otherwise, the shirt would be too low-cut (just in case you find it weird to wear two bras). God knew you might want to go let things go too far, so He prepared you for that by having you wear that outfit with two bras. It seems like a mischance at the time because it kind of ruins that moment. Sure, taking off two bras is absolutely possible, obviously, but it does make it more difficult. God was walking with you, and you didn't know why you chose that outfit, but God knew why. It was extra protection to keep you safe. Or me, or whoever.
God walks with me. He leads me. Even when I'm pretty darn content with walking my own way, he's still working. In every moment, He is present. That's love for you. I experience love when someone meets my needs/wants without me asking for it. That's what God did for me when I was on the roof yesterday. I was so stunned, so deeply in love, that all I could do was grin and say, "Thanks God... you knew I wanted to hear about Africa. You knew it."