I always end up being surprised and I don't like it. Don't get me wrong, surprises can be fun, especially when they involve something you've been hoping for. However, what I don't like is the fact that I'm always caught off guard by the fact that God's plan is not only different than what looks right to me on the surface, but that it's always the better plan. On Saturday night, encroaching into Sunday morning, you could not have convinced me that sitting by my door listening to my intoxicated neighbours fighting with another tenant while losing much needed hours of sleep was the best thing for me. I was angry, I was tired, and the next day I was sick from the lack of sleep. The thing is though, it forced me to change my plans. My plans were to continue to stick it out at Gaylene Place awhile longer, even though the drive is terribly long and inconvenient. In a season of apartment occupancy well over 90 percent in Winnipeg, I had virtually no hope of finding the kind of apartment I was looking for. These were the qualifications: 1. Large enough, 2. Close to work, and 3. Affordable.
When I realized thatI could not feasibly stay here at Gaylene much longer, I put out a desperate Facebook note to see if anyone knew about available apartments, and to my shock someone did. I saw the apartment on Tuesday and it fit my needs perfectly. 1. Slightly larger than the apartment I am in now, which has more than met my needs. 2. It's a two minute drive from work on a good day. 3. Quite a bit more expensive than what I am paying now, but when you factor in what I will save on gas, actually comes out almost even.
I put together my lease application as quickly as I could, submitted it on Thursday morning and was told to expect an answer in about 5 business days. I got the approval call the next morning, and that's where the unfortunate element of surprise comes in. It's not so much the surprise that all this worked out in my favor, but more that it was through circumstances that I would not have wanted to go through.
Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." This is a true promise, but it's unfortunate how many people ignore the many other promises of God in their understanding of it. Scripture also speaks clearly about hardship, discipline, and suffering; I really believe that if a person is living faithfully and growing in their love for God, they will experience these things. However, there are blessings in this life and the one that is to come, and often times these blessings are delivered through those very trials. As Jesus' followers witnessed his crucifixion, they never would have thought that this was actually the greatest thing that ever happened to them. At one point when even speaking about the fate that awaited him, Jesus was actually rebuked by Peter for speaking of such things. Jesus' rebuke was stern, including the statement "You do not have in mind the things of God, but of men." I bet Peter was more than surprised at that moment....