“Last minute Helen” is a nickname that my dad has called me since childhood.
I like to think of it as being “time challenged”. It is very true that I am sure I can do 10 minutes worth of activities in two minutes, that the pressure of teaching or assignment preparation needs to be a ‘code red’ before I feel the urge to move, and I hate to be early to anything.
But I have noticed over the years that God also seems to do things the last minute.
Although it's never because He is ‘challenged’ or procrastinating—but it's to remind me that He has got things in hand. And trusting in Him means trusting in His timing. And yes, that refers to big things like a relationship and family, but also more everyday things including having a house to live in and a car to use.
In a recent newsletter, I shared with friends and family how our household had to move out by the end of March, and in January I thought, “Plenty of time!”. When we prayed, we even felt from God that “the answer was still in the works”.
February floated into March, and the urgency of our reminders to God moved from gentle prayers—to pounding on heaven doors dramatically crying, “Don’t you care if we are homeless?!”. God, knowing full well that we knew we would not be homeless, thankfully waited for the hysterics to die down and for us to actually listen.
Have you ever found the ability to wait quietly for God to speak gets drowned out by our worry and the increasing volume of panic?
I guess that's the reason we need multiple reminds to "be still" (like in Exodus 14:14; Psalm 37:7; 46:10; and 62:5).
Four weeks before our moving deadline, I felt the word “networks” when praying. I complained that this did not have sufficient detail but dutifully threw out onto Facebook walls our need.
A week later I had a random thought—I should visit a family who I had not seen in months. While I was spending time with them, they made a ‘chance’ comment about friends looking for renters for their furnished house for a year. Two visits to the house, a frantic search for committed flatmates, deliberation by the homeowners, shifting of move-in dates…. and bang… we were in our new place with one week to spare.
So here I am, sitting in our three-bedroom furnished house with views of the Mount, a natural spring hot-pool plus a big pool for the summer, and only 10 minutes from our YWAM campus (opposite direction from all the traffic jams). Even a carport to park my car….oh yeah…did I mention my mum gave me her old car? Another answered prayer.
For the first time in years I have a place to stay still for a whole year, a car of my own.
Most importantly, it was all a reminder that God does listen, He does care, and nothing is too difficult for Him to sort out.