When David shared this remarkable story with us last Sunday, the first words out of my mouth were, "I want this for my devotions!" Thinking I would be rewriting the events with some suggestions from David, I was absolutely delighted when he took the time to write down his experiences so eloquently and forward them to me. Wow! I am blown away by his testimony, and know you will be, too.
So, enjoy David's amazing witness to the glory and perfect timing of our awesome God. I hope, too, that you will give David some positive feedback in the comments section below.
Love and blessings! Martha
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee.
I have always been a great believer in God's perfect timing. It is always the will of our Heavenly Father that we be still and listen. As I turn the page on another birthday, I have received the blessing of seeing the Divine Providence of God in my life.
On May 1st of this year, I was laid-off from my job. A well-paying, high-responsibility, and extremely stressful job that, quite frankly, I hated! After the initial shock of being terminated for the first time in my life, I made the unpleasant call to my wife to deliver the news that we had just lost our primary income.
Then, I waited. I waited for the sick feelings of fear and dread to set in.
I waited . . .
But, those feelings never came. I waited days and weeks for the reality to dawn and distress overwhelm me, but all I experienced was peace. I acknowledged from the beginning that it had to be the peace of the Lord. Long has my favorite verse been: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee. I didn't cling to the verse this time; it clung to me.
May 18th was Decoration Day at the Kennesaw City Cemetery. At the suggestion of my wife, I encouraged members of my motorcycle club to come out and participate in the event - show a bit of community spirit.
Upon arriving, I soon came upon a Confederate grave stone. I told my six-year-old son that we would give this stone some attention later. After the initial memorial ceremonies, the participants were encouraged to help clean some of the markers with soapy water and brushes. My son and I did as we had planned and made our way to the Confederate headstone.
While cleaning the marker, we were approached by a gentleman, obviously moved by our gesture of scrubbing the gravestone. As he handed my son a ten dollar bill, he informed us that we were cleaning the headstone of his great-grandfather's grave. Mr. B. took a few pictures and talked on for a while, telling us of his ancestor's service in the Confederate home-guard. Before we parted, he removed the hat he was wearing and gave it to my son. I was proud of my boy that day; he was a gracious and respectful recipient of the man's gratitude.
After some initial conversations with people I have known and worked with over the years, I just knew I wasn't feeling any motivation to get another 'j-o-b', at least not in the traditional sense. I felt a strong desire to open a business. I immediately set myself to learning the ins and outs of becoming an entrepreneur.
Through a bit of trial and error, and with the very valuable guidance of some business acquaintances I have made in the past several years, I forged ahead on a path to becoming a business owner. One of the first things I did was pick out a lease property I wanted to be in. I knew then and there that I was putting the cart before the horse, but I had a lot of carts and horses to sort out and just didn't know my way through the process.
I put a letter of intent on the property, filled out a lot of application forms, and negotiated some lease conditions I wished to have. Weeks went by with little word back. Several more setbacks had me questioning what I was doing wrong, and wondering how this would ever get sorted out and come together.
After many weeks, it became clear that I would not be occupying the property I had hoped to. Family matters with the owner had intervened, and I would not be getting the lease. But, even through all this, I never wanted for peace. It remained my constant companion.
I decided to go back to the city zoning office and see if they could help me locate something else. I was encouraged to look at a nearby property, yet hesitated because I felt it was too small. But, at the woman's insistence, I promised to consider it further.
So, I drove by and looked at the place from the car, and took down the number to call and ask about price. Rather than answer that question, the man on the other end of the line asked, "When would you like to see it?" I told him I could meet with him after lunch the next day, and he agreed.
Just to look the property over before I meet with the owner, I show up early. To my surprise, the man was already there, sitting on the front porch.
I rolled down my window and asked, "Are you waiting for me?"
It was then I recognized him - it was Mr. B.! The gentleman whose great-grandfather's grave marker we had cleaned up on Decoration Day! He remembered me as well, and invited me to park and come on in.
We looked around the place. I liked it a lot! But, we didn't talk much business that day. In true Southern style, we just visited. We exchanged phone numbers and I promised I would be in touch.
Less than an hour later, I run into a friend who is on the Kennesaw City Council.
"Did you find your place yet?" she inquires.
"As a matter of fact, I was just talking with Mr. B. about one of his properties."
"Mr. B. is the best, David. You can't go wrong with this one!"
Just then, up walks Mr. B. Turns out he was meeting someone for lunch. We visited more and enjoyed lunch together.
Before we left, he asked if I would be willing to volunteer at our local history museum the coming Saturday for a special event they were having. I was thrilled to be asked and more than happy to help. I even recruited some extra help. Mr. B. was very pleased.
On that Saturday, we visited some more. As he was leaving, Mr. B. asked, "David, are you still interested in renting my property?"
"I sure am, but my financing is still two to three weeks out. I can't ask you to wait that long for me."
Mr. B. just grinned at me. "It's yours."
A few days later, I get a call from him.
"David, I've been thinking. I want you to get that business of yours up and running. I've decided to give you the keys to the place if you want to meet me over there."
"But, the money . . ." I protest.
"I won't be wanting any rent until September 1st."
Be still. Be patient. And, may the Lord keep you also in His perfect peace.