She told me a heartbreaking story and how she came to accept it.
“God said, ‘that was my intention’.”
I woke today and met rejection. An email quickly skimmed and moved on to the folder marked trash.
I’d told myself submit and if it is for you, it will be.
I wasn’t at all destroyed over it. The not being chosen for my writing was sort of an answer to some recent questions of God.
One in particular, do I just blog and let that be enough?
I don’t know yet.
But, I’m open either way.
Not on the edge about it. I know that God’s intentions for me are always good. I find it brave to believe this.
Wish I’d believed it sooner.
Wish I’d seen the verse with the words “returning and rest” the way my friend explained it.
“Daughter, come back.” is what she told me the prophet Isaiah wrote, as instructed by God.
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.”
Isaiah 30:15 NLT
My friend is biblically wise and I’d always felt the words about running away felt like chastisement.
She read farther back and told me God is just reminding me rest means closeness and confidence and strength are from staying near.
We talked a little more and we began to share worries over our world, the evil motivations of people and the bravery required to stand strong and speak up about God.
She became quiet. She shared of a high school classmate she’d heard through others had suffered a stroke.
She told me they weren’t close friends, hadn’t run in the same circles way back then.
Using the connection of another former classmate, she contacted the ailing friend and asked to drop off food, say hello.
The stroke victim said no at first and eventually allowed my friend in.
And I’m not sure how many visits there were, if meals were shared or if conversation became natural.
My friend shared that the woman she’d been visiting did not believe in God. She had her reasons.
My friend asked God to keep her alive until she could change her mind about Jesus.
My friend ached for that assurance. She is aching still.
The former classmate died too soon.
Tremendous pain prompted her to get any pill she could get off the street and my friend heard that the stroke victim who said there was no God, died while sending someone a text.
My friend heard later, the pill was tainted, a deadly ingredient added.
I sat and sensed the ache of question. I saw regret in the posture of my friend.
Months passed since the passing until one day in the shower, she longed to know why she’d not been able to help the former classmate believe in Jesus.
She looked over at me and said,
“God said, ‘that was my intention’.”
And the truth of God’s intention for my friend’s friend and for me caused tears to begin slowly.
Peace permeated the space between us.
“So, you have peace about her?” I asked and she nodded.
Then, I smiled and I cried and I told her something I don’t think she knew would be for me.
What that means is that those horrible things that happened to me were not what God intended, the evil just won the battle.
And maybe, just maybe the stuff I longed for that had not happened was not God’s intention for me.
Come back, daughter. Yes, I now see.
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you.
Isaiah 30:18 ESV
What makes no sense to you if you believe in a God that is good?
My friend found peace when God told her, I was on your team, I was fighting alongside you.
You having more time with her was my intention.
Evil broke in. Broke in too soon.
On earth there is evil.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
Heaven, though, is God’s purpose.
Our hope and future.
Come back. Stay near. My grace to you is intentional.
What God intends is good.