Perfect Timing

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.  
– Proverbs 16:3

Following the Spirit is always an adventure. One of my discernment tests goes like this:
If we believe that God’s timing is perfect… 
If we rely on divine wisdom to guide our path and move us along the journey as it needs to be. 
If we trust that the one who created us loves us… 
then when things don’t work out like we hoped they might,
we can have peace that God still holds that too.
We don’t get to know all the reasons why. 

Sometimes that comes more easily; sometimes it is the hardest thing to accept. 

It was 4:15am when I clicked “Cancel flight”. Are you sure? “Yes”.  I prayed again the same prayer I’d been voicing for a few weeks, and then each day, and then…hour by hour: “God, if this is the time, please clear the way; if not, I totally trust your wisdom and guidance.”  I went to sleep. I knew I was not flying out on my originally planned 6am flight for Guatemala.

My phone rang at 7:30am. A man we’ve been praying for who is literally fighting for his life, was worse. The family had been called to come. These colleagues and friends found themselves standing, once again, in the valley.  They needed prayer too.  By noon I was praying with a circle of fire department officers as we asked the Lord for help and peace for this man and his family. We gave voice to our faith. We stood together. 

I wasn’t supposed to be flying to Guatemala that day, I was supposed to be in Franklin, Tennessee, and available. In what would have normally been a packed scheduled, my time and focus was clear to be where I needed to be. A shift of plans that could only be God’s hand. 

Later that afternoon, with a few phone calls and searching, I had free tickets on a next day flight with everything I needed. The way had not only been cleared, but it was also firmly established. I kept moving forward. 

I landed in Guatemala the next day, too late to travel the full way to my destination, but fully here and confident the timing was all perfect. I went to sleep to the familiar sound of fireworks and music – the typical Latino pop or US 70’s rock.  I woke up to the cherished sounds of birds, roosters and brooms brushing off the dust as people began their days.  Parque Central stood soundly in place. A few people moved about, and I was “home”. 

Morning bath at the fountain.
Parque Central, Antigua, Guatemala 2022

The changes in my schedule were just mine.  Others who were visiting here to explore and see what God is doing in Guatemala had their schedules interrupted by blockades earlier in the week that stalled travel, and then by something that was stirring their spirits about ACD Guatemala. They returned to Xela, and we all arrived at ACD within the same hour on Friday.  I missed their Thursday night fiesta, but I found conversation and synergy on Friday. 

As we began to meet one another and share our stories, it was clear that once again, our steps had been directed by the one we are all trying to follow. Story after story, timing and connections – some even years in the making, we all gave voice to our faith. We shared our awkward and amazing calls to ministry.  Our Creator is amazing! 

Following the spirit always leads us on paths we could have never created on our own.  If you are frustrated with the way your plans have been interrupted, just remember: We make plans, but it is the Lord who directs our steps. There may be other people and factors impacting the situation of which you have no idea. We all have our own journeys, it is God that connects them in the right timing. Trust God. 

The timing of the Lord does not fail, even when it takes what may seem like a lifetime to be revealed. When we trust this, we can stop trying to “make” things happen and start placing ourselves in the position of being prepared while God’s perfect timing is being carefully arranged. 

The human mind plans the way,
    but the Lord directs the steps.
– Proverbs 16:9

Photo of ACD Staff and Pastors from First Centenary UMC
Back row from left:  Jeff, Barry, Tanner, Will, Jason
Front Row from left: Vona, Carlos, Lucia, Marielos, Kristin, Stephanie

2 thoughts on “Perfect Timing

  • You post was certainly a reminder that God has a plan for our lives. It’s up to us to stop and listen to that “still small voice.” We love you Vona and appreciate your Christian leadership.

  • The human mind plans the way,
    but the Lord directs the steps.
    – Proverbs 16:9

    I quote this often. Thank you for the reminder to put my faith and words into action!

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