Have you ever thought you were doing something for one reason, but with hindsight saw something else? My husband and I went through a difficult period earlier this year that was made a little easier when I began to consider that there might be more to the story.
Our family used to live on the Texas coast in the Rockport/Fulton area, but we moved to Missouri about twelve years ago. We still own a business down there, though, and almost two years ago, Hurricane Harvey made landfall pretty much on top of it. Since then my husband has had to spend more time there to make repairs and rebuild. Just to give you some perspective, our home is about a fourteen-hour drive from Rockport.
In late April, Scott went down to Rockport to oversee the construction of a new building which he estimated would take two months. Because of the length and nature of this trip, I stayed home. Our plan was for him to come back every few weeks, or so, throughout the construction period.
Only a few days into the project, Scott arrived at the office to find our manager unconscious. Mike was taken to the emergency room by ambulance where they discovered that his liver was failing and they didn’t think he would survive the night. Scott was upset about the situation and wished that he had talked to our friend about Jesus and baptism more while he’d had the chance.
Mike amazed everyone by coming out of his coma and after a few days he was released from the hospital. Scott was given a second chance to talk to Mike, and he took advantage of the opportunity.
At this point Scott and I had been apart for about a month, except for a few days that he flew home to attend our daughter’s college graduation. We had hoped that there would be windows of time that he could come home, but that hope dissipated as he had no one to run the office or oversee the construction in his absence.
Because of other things that were also happening, it was a very stressful time for us. I was frustrated and missing my husband. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe Scott’s purpose wasn’t only tending to our business. If he hadn’t been down there, no one would have found Mike in time and he wouldn’t have had another chance to hear about baptism. Could it be that there was another reason for all of this? That realization made it a little easier to share my husband and put some of the other difficulties in a different light.
Mike’s health remained precarious and Scott had to take him to the hospital in a nearby town a few more times during that period. Mike didn’t have family, so Scott made time to visit and call him. In addition to their conversations, he recommended some videos about Jesus and baptism for Mike to watch.
Sadly, Mike passed away. He didn’t get baptized, but he did watch some of the videos that Scott shared with him. I harbor hope that he accepted Jesus even though he didn’t get baptized and that he benefitted from God’s grace. At least Scott had additional opportunities to talk with him.
Could it be that God wanted to provide Michael with a last chance to hear the gospel and did that through my husband? How often in our lives when we become annoyed with delays or plans that don’t work out could God be at work with a hidden purpose?