But the boat was already many stadia away from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. (Matthew 14:24)
I have a log home in Sandpoint that I’ve been trying to sell for nearly a year now. I bought it so that I could make it a vacation rental, but found out after a year of trying, that the town just doesn’t get enough vacation rental business to make a go of it. And, since it’s a 6-1/2 hour drive from my home, it’s not exactly convenient.
So, I put it up for sale last May. And each month, I struggle to make the mortgage payment, praying day after day that God will bring the right buyer at the right time. Last December, a couple made me an offer on it, and wanted to do a lease/purchase, but their offer was far too low, so I turned it down. I figured if they wanted it bad enough, they’d bring up the amount of their offer. They didn’t, and went away. Still, I trusted God. Two months later, on Valentine’s Day of this year, the same couple came back and said that they would meet my price and my conditions. I was still somewhat guarded, because the couple had just gone through a bankruptcy, but continued to pray, asking God to show me the way. I called the buyer and had a nice chat with him. He seemed very nice and respectful on the phone, so I agreed to move forward. It wasn’t the perfect scenario in my opinion, because I didn’t really want a “lease/purchase,” but rather preferred to have someone buy the house outright, because in a lease/purchase, the money you have in your house is tied up until the people finally purchase your house. But I figured if this was God’s will, then perhaps He had a plan different from mine.
We went through all the paperwork, and the husband booked a flight to come out and see the house a final time. They live in California, and my cabin is in Idaho. A few days before, the area received what my realtor described as a “dump” of snow. My cabin is up higher than the town, so it usually receives more snow–but rarely in ridiculous amounts. However, since Sandpoint has had a warmer and drier winter this year up until that point, I was surprised to receive a frantic call from my realtor, saying she needed to get the long driveway and front of the house plowed out, so the buyer could get in. Apparently there was so much snow that a tractor that was plowing actually got stuck, and had to be pulled out.
The buyer arrived and went through the house again, and apparently seemed fine about it, until 24 hours later, when my realtor received a cancellation notice from the buyer’s realtor. They were backing out of the deal, and their excuse was apparently, “lack of storage.” In fact, the property has a huge free-standing metal garage that has abundant storage space. My realtor and I believe that it was the snow that scared the buyer away.
When I heard that the buyers had cancelled their offer, my first response was sadness. But it only took a moment or two for me to realize that clearly, this was the Lord’s plan. He apparently didn’t want those buyers, and sent the perfect storm. And I began to praise Him, knowing that He will make it happen in His perfect timing, and will bring the perfect buyers.
The term “perfect storm” seems to be an oxymoron. How can there be a perfect storm? Only when God is present in it. When the disciples were out in the boat and the waves were crashing over them, it certainly wasn’t the perfect storm in their eyes. In fact, the strong wind was “contrary”–going against them, so they were working twice as hard to get back to shore. But then Jesus appeared walking on the water, and stilled the wind. If there hadn’t been a strong wind, He probably wouldn’t have come out to them, walking on the water. They wouldn’t have had a chance to behold Him doing the impossible, both walking on the water, and stilling the wind. And certainly, Peter would never have walked on water himself, had he not sighted Jesus, and wanted to get to Him, because being with Jesus was far better–and safer–than staying in the boat.
Sometimes we need the perfect storm to see God working in our lives, and to be able to stretch our own faith a little bit. So if there’s a storm brewing in your life right now, don’t be discouraged. Look up, praise God, and watch for Jesus walking toward you to deliver you.