Over the course of the last 18 months or so, there have been various moments when Ruth and I have particularly felt God begin to tug at our hearts. There have, however, been 2 significant moments.
The first took place last summer.
The week after Sean and I had met with Mark’s friend I had just really been wrestling with God and feeling that I’d almost reached the point where I’d settled things for myself in my own heart – but not quite.
I had been reading Matthew 1 & 2 that week and so argued with God that if He was able to clearly direct Joseph through his dreams, why could He not do something similar for me!
Ketsia was at Carroty Wood and Lois had gone with Ruth’s parents to Scotland, and I’d previously arranged with Ruth to spend part of an afternoon in and around Slough – again simply to have another opportunity to try to get more of a feel for the area and to hear God.
We’d arranged to have tea with some friends in Bracknell that evening so planned to go straight from Slough to their house.
After spending some time in Slough town centre and driving around different parts of the suburbs, we stopped at the Mark’s & Spencer’s Food Store on the A4 in Slough to pick up a bottle of wine to take with us to our friends.
As we were in the shop, Ruth at one point called me over to where she was and said, “Perhaps we should take them this one!”
Embossed on the glass bottle and written on the label of the bottle of wine Ruth was holding were the words ‘Plan de Dieu’.
My French isn’t that great so I looked at Ruth and asked her what it meant. ‘Plan de Dieu’ is French for ‘Plan of God’ or ‘God’s Plan’.
At this point I’d not shared with Ruth how I’d been feeling or praying that week and Ruth hadn’t made any connection between what was written on the bottle and where we were – she’d simply thought, ‘we’re going to have tea with another church leader and his wife – let’s take them this!’
I would never have picked up on or noticed this if I’d been by myself simply because my French really isn’t that good.
I’d want to hold off jumping to conclusions on the basis of something like this alone, but the timing of it just helped me, helped us both, I think, to reach a place where we were at peace in our own hearts about the possibility that God increasingly seemed to be bringing across our path.
God got the attention of Magi from the east at just the right moment through a star in the sky and it seemed to me he had got our attention through a bottle of wine in a Marks & Spencer’s Food Store in Slough.
When Ruth shared what had happened with her dad, he referred to it as a ‘wink from God’. I think I’d probably see it in a similar light.
(To be continued…)