What a week! Nothing too exciting happened—had midterms, a bunch of project…oh, and got engaged!
Boy howdy, was it a stressful week! Downright overwhelming as I drowned in a sea of due dates, to-do-lists, and future decisions.
Somehow, in the midst of the craziness, I had time to plan my engagement. No big deal…
It was my now-fiancé’s birthday weekend. She thought I wasn’t coming down till later in the day on Saturday, when in actuality I had come down on Friday. On Saturday morning, her family took her on a scavenger hunt using clues—though she had no clue whatsoever that it was I who had planned it. The last place on the hunt was the beach, where her sister took her on a walk. She stumbled upon the first message in the sand: “I love you to the moon and back.”
“Wait, that’s something Matthew and I say!”
“Must be a coincidence!” insisted her sister sneakily.
They continued on and found another message: “#cutestuff.”
“That’s the hashtag only he uses for me! He has to be here somewhere!” She started walking faster.
By the time she read the last two messages, she was convinced. She was practically running down the beach, saying, “It was all just a cover-up! Where is he?”
She saw arrows in the sand that led around some fallen trees. That’s when she saw the final message: “Will you marry me?”
Then I popped out like a knight in shining armor (or just a sweater and jeans)—with a ring of course! And yes, she said yes.
I love what she said to me later that day, “You know, all along, I felt like all the places in the scavenger hunt had some connection to you and me. It was like I knew something was going on, but couldn’t quite figure it out till I saw the messages in the sand. Then when I saw you, it all made sense! You were behind it the whole time—you designed the scavenger hunt!”
Obviously, it was a very special time for me and her. We’re madly in love, in case you can’t tell. But the cool thing is that even through our engagement story, I saw connections to my God. That’s the awesome thing about life—you can find hints of God in every corner.
Like my engagement, God has my life all planned out. This past week, during an excellent message, the preacher was going to say that God allows trials, but woke up in the middle of the night with this thought—sure, God allows trials, but more than that…He designs them. He’s not passive. He’s not the kind of God who just says, “Sure!” He’s a deliberate God. After all, He is Sovereign!
As I walk through the scavenger hunt of life (especially on crazy weeks like this past one), I feel like I can see hints of His sovereignty. In the unexpected good grade or the frustration of having a lot to do. I know He’s at work in all things!
Even when both parties seem determined to nominate crazy people. Even when teachers assign way too much reading and projects. When the future won’t come into focus and no one emails back about a job. When I don’t know what to do and when a sermon doesn’t go well. When people don’t appreciate me or when people ask way too much of me.
I couldn’t imagine being an atheist. Like my fiancé, they have to go through this scavenger hunt called life without knowing who’s behind it. Recognizing all the “coincidences,” but not seeing the One Who controls them. They’ll never get to turn that corner and see everything make sense all at once.
God makes life simpler. He doesn’t make life easier, that’s for sure. But He makes it a whole lot better! When things begin to pile up in life, He piles His love higher. When the to-do list overwhelms, His grace overwhelms even more. When things don’t make sense to me, I know who’s calling the shots on this planet.
He’s the one writing the clues, planning the stops, and writing the messages in the sand along the way of my life. It all makes sense now! How could it make sense otherwise?
“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” -Ps. 115:3
When will I realize that my God is just so good? That I don’t have to stress about pitiful things like a lot of homework or even looking for a future job? When will I just rest in the fact that the Sovereign God loves me so, so deeply? When will I just relax and realize that I know all things will work out for good (Rom. 8:28)? If that’s so…what more could I possibly ask for?
He’s just asking me to trust Him. To commit my life to Him.
And I’m going to say “Yes!”