Do you like it when God tells you to wait?
I guarantee that at least 99 times out of 100, I’m not happy about it. I wrote about one of the rare times I welcomed waiting in my July 2021 post, When God Laughs. I told the story of delaying our decision to downsize, but I left out a significant detail that grew even more profound.
The week before our son proposed and set his April wedding date, my husband had tipped in favor of selling our home, but I continued teetering. Doing my best to cast all my anxiety on God, I told Steve, “I’m not ready to list our home, but if someone comes to us and offers to buy it, then we’ll sell.”
That may sound like an outlandishly impossible condition, but Steve and I have an abundance of faith and a history of witnessing miracles. We’ve learned all things are possible with God.
Two or three days later, I sensed God prompting me to go outside. I stood in my driveway wondering what to do next when a man riding his bike down my street called out to me.
“Is this your house? Do you own it?”
“Yes, how can I help you?”
The man pedaled across the gravel drive that runs between our home and our business, two adjacent buildings on our property.
“I’ve been riding around the neighborhood looking for homes for sale. Are you thinking of selling?”
Faced with either ducking back into the home I love or taking this stranger into my husband’s place of business, I stood motionless and stared in disbelief.
The stranger was the first to speak. “I live nearby and I’m looking for a home for my pastor. He wants to raise his family in a neighborhood like this.”
His pastor? Seriously? No running from God this time.
I took the man inside to meet my husband, who looked up from his work with a puzzled expression.
“Steve…” I chose my words carefully. “Remember what I said about what it would take for me to agree to sell our house?”
“Yes.” His brow furrowed. “You said someone would have to come right up to you and ask about buying it.”
Still at a loss for words, I gestured to the man whose bike ride had led straight to us. He introduced himself and mentioned his role as an elder in his church. The three of us prayed together and turned the potential transaction over to God. We gave the elder our contact information to share with his pastor.
All this happened on a Thursday in June. The very the next day, the pastor and his wife toured our property. The godly couple with three young children could easily continue the legacy of stewarding our home to the glory of God—an answer to my prayers. Then on Saturday, we met the pastor’s father, who had offered to help his son purchase a dream home with lots of land. I remember telling him that we were in no hurry to sell and did not plan on listing the home with an agent, but they were welcome to make us an offer.
I placed the ball in their court, and they drove away with it.
The next day, my son took a knee and popped the question in the exact place in our backyard where he hoped to exchange wedding vows with his bride. She said yes and they set a date in April.
Why had God sent someone to my door now?
Did He want us to pursue these potential buyers?
How could we sell with a wedding to host?
Shouldn’t my son’s dream take priority?
Days became weeks without a dribble of news from the pastor’s family. Steve would ask if we should reach out to them and I’d remind him the ball was in their court. I cried out in prayer to God for more than a month with no response.
Finally came the breakthrough day I wrote about in When God Laughs.
God settled my anxious thoughts with three words: Wait until April.
I welcomed those words. “Wait until April” meant God had given me nine months to forget about downsizing. I was more than happy to wait.
Ten months passed. Ten months between the June 2021 tour and the April 2022 wedding. Apparently, the potential buyers had not driven away with the ball. They dropped it.
The week after my son’s wedding, my husband came into my office.
Those two words didn’t need further explanation “I know.” I sighed. “I meet with my prayer partners tomorrow,” I said. “We’ll ask God about the house. He’ll provide direction. He always does.”
Leading up to the prayer call, emotional pain overwhelmed me. Was it because my baby boy, our youngest child, was now someone’s husband? No, the grief went deeper. Was it because I might be leaving the home where I’d raised that young man?
Yes, losing the dwelling place of precious family memories made my heart ache.
God met me while praying with my treasured friends, and at the conclusion of our prayer time, one of them said, “I believe you will see a miracle within the next 24 hours.”
The next day, I found a large manilla envelope stuffed in my mailbox. It was from the couple who toured our home in June! The thoughtfully written letter shared how they’d been praying for Steve and me by name for ten months, and how they hoped the timing was now right to reach out and express their continued interest in buying our home.
I’d been wrong about the dropped ball. God had simply kept it out of play until April.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. — Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)
Friend, if God seems to have dropped the ball on His plans for your life, rest assured He will never let the clock run out with unfinished business.
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? — Luke 12:25-26 (NIV)
Waiting on God does not mean forfeiting opportunities to move forward. It means moving forward at the best possible time in the best possible direction. So don’t be anxious about leaving the ball in God’s court. His game plan always leads to victory.