It started out on a high note, as most of you know. I finally sold my car, which meant I was now free to start seriously shopping for a truck! I had found a truck a couple of days ago on Craigslist that I really liked, and I sent off an enthusiastic e-mail to the owners with an offer to come check it out. They never responded. It turns out that even though I sent off that e-mail within a day of the truck being posted, someone beat me to her. I felt kinda like a guy that just had the girl he really wanted to dance with swept off by another young man a moment before he asked her to dance. But no biggy, there were plenty of other trucks out on the market.
Next I found a Dodge Dakota that looked very promising. Even better, the Craigslist ad was all of 45 minutes old! Confident that I would be the first to make an offer but not taking any chances, I called the owners right away. My confidence was well-founded. The owner assured me that truck was still available, and we set up a time to see the vehicle at 5:30 PM yesterday.
My dad and I left at 4:00 to give us plenty of time to get down to Kalama (a little more than an hour away) to see the truck. We stopped to get the cash needed, and by 5:30 we were about five minutes away. I called the owner to let him know we were getting close, and that's when the day went from great to . . . not so great.
"Hey," I said when the owner answered his phone, "we are getting close and should be by to check out your truck in about five minutes."
"Oh, sorry, I sold the truck."
(Shocked silence on my end) "Oh, um, thanks for letting us know."
I really didn't know what else to say, and what I did was probably said with a little more irony than it should have been. I couldn't believe it! Here we are already out some gas money and time to drive down here to see his Dodge Dakota, and he sells it to someone else without even letting us know! Obviously, this was a huge breach of Craigslist (and business in general) etiquette, selling something out from under the first committed potential customer. I felt now like a guy who had been slapped in the face and then had the girl he really wanted to dance with swept away. Yep, life gets frustrating sometimes.
My dad gave me the good ole "wasn't meant to be" condolences after seeing the shocked look on my face. I couldn't help but smile and tell him that I am "getting tired of it being 'not meant to be.'" And thus we moved on.
Honestly, I was really bummed and (even more honestly) kind of mad at that breacher of craigslist etiquette, but there was nothing else to do. We stopped at Skippers for dinner and the free wi-fi and searched Craigslist for another option. There were none that particularly caught my fancy, so we headed for home empty-handed.
So, where is God's plan in all of this? To some, it would seem like just a really bad turn of "luck", but in reality, it is providence! Though it took a little while for the disappointment to wear off, I was eventually reminded of a situation just like this almost a year ago when I bought my first car. After a series of disappointments and let downs that were really disheartening, my dad and I decided to make one last try on a red Escort all the way up in Oak Harbor (past Seattle). Hours of driving and a ferry ride later, we arrived at the house of my first car's former owners. It was already sometime near 10PM. To make a long story short, that red Escort turned out to be the perfect car, and after an almost bizarre (but no less providential) set of circumstances, my dad actually had the chance to witness to a man while we drove him all the way back to his home near Seattle! That was an adventure I will never forget (see my blog post on it here).
Silly me, here I was falling into the same disappointment again, when I already knew through experience that God has the best plan for me! I am here to tell you that He does, friends. God will always be working out His sovereign plan for our lives, and it will be for our very best! Though life may get frustrating, keeping God's promises in mind, we can rest assured that He works all things together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose!
For me personally, I know that the truck He has for me is still out there, and it is just the perfect one! He will work out circumstances just right so that I am ready to buy that truck at the right time. If that means I have to take a few fruitless trips before I get it, so be it! After all, really nothing for a Christian is "not meant to be." It's all part of God's plan!
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. [Jer 29:11 NIV]