In six weeks, my life took a drastic turn of events. The farmhouse that I leased and lived in for six years would be placed on the market for sale. For three weeks, diligent search efforts for alternate housing produced nothing but waiting lists. When did this small town become so popular? So, I expanded my search to a 100-mile radius, which offered many alternatives, including a 55+ community in Florida. I laughed at the glitch on the internet because Florida was 1400 miles away. But as I began to explore their website, I completed the online application out of curiosity.
My immediate focus was packing, selling, and donating six years of my life in six weeks. Within two days, I received a congratulations email from the property manager in Florida. I called and thanked her but relayed that I was looking for housing in Texas. Then we were hit with the Texas storms, and the frigid temperatures were more than the pipes in the kitchen could withstand. They froze even with the water running at a slow rate. Thankfully, the bathroom pipes were located in the middle, warmer area under the house and shielded from the icy freeze. I was blessed to have running water. Most of the town lost power, but God’s mercies kept my electricity and gas on during this challenging time.
Two days after the storm, I heard a loud hissing noise in the front of the house. When the temperature reached 45 degrees, the pipe for the water hose had split into several places, and water was running full stream down the lawn and the driveway. Thirty minutes later, the landlord told me to fill up some gallon jugs because the pipe was irreparably damaged. Also, the kitchen pipe had burst, and he had to shut off the water to the house. I placed three totes in the bathtub and filled them to the brim. And that was the end of running water for seven days.
About 20 years ago, I worked as a camp nurse living in the Catskill mountains for three months. I never thought that I would have to use grid skills again in my lifetime. I had enough bottled water to sustain me for three weeks but had to boil water in a giant pot for basin baths and washing dishes. Also, flushing the toilet was manually accomplished and limited to once a day. My stock of cleaning products kept everything clean and odor-free. But, no complaints, I was one of the fortunate. Most in our town had to evacuate their homes due to lack of electricity and water.
The situation worsened, and our county required intervention from FEMA for the severe water shortage in nine cities. Due to the overwhelming number of burst pipes, every plumber available within 30 miles had a full schedule. Running water was the least of my concerns; I began to pray, pray, pray because I had to move in three weeks, and there was no available housing.
Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he. I am he who will sustain you. I have made you, and I will carry you; I will sustain you, and I will rescue you. Isaiah 46:4
One day, as I washed my face and looked in the mirror, there are no wrinkles, but I saw many new gray hairs at the top of my forehead. During my prayer, I reminded God of his promise to take care of me and rescue me from my dilemma. That same day the property manager called me from Florida to ask if I was still interested in the apartment. “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.” Jeremiah 29:11
The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1
I left Texas on Thursday, February 25th at noon in a 20 ft. U Haul truck. The Holy Spirit gave me the knowledge and skills to drive, park, and back-up a large truck for a four-day adventure to a new home in sunny Florida. Yes, I was the recipient of a big blessing. No longer do I have the responsibilities of a big house, lawn maintenance, paying three utilities, and enduring the waiting period for vital repairs to be completed on time.
I wish that I could say that obedience to God’s command for me to relocate to Florida was my first action, but it was not. Because I was pursuing my desires, I even had the boldness to ask God if He would leave me homeless. Then God showed His power! God blocked every effort to remain in Texas. On future calls for prospective housing, I received no further responses. And the plumber still had not arrived for repairing the broken pipes!
So you may ask, “But how do you know that God is speaking to you instead of a personal desire?” Because Divine Intervention is supernatural! Not only do miraculous wonders occur when you pray for God’s will to be done in your life, everything that God does is perfect. Even so, the next step is crucial. Once revealed, obedience to God’s unexpected plans is your test of faith. I can testify that God’s plans are so phenomenal all doubt is erased from your mind.
When God fulfills His plans, there are no glitches or mistakes. Many miracles occurred during my relocation, but I will mention two that stand out. The estimated cost for fuel was $600-$700 for a 20 ft truck with a load. The actual gas price was $380-$400. I will also disclose my two fears, driving over the long bridge in Pensacola, Fl, and night blindness from the headlights, especially on two-lane highways.
On the second day of the journey, heavy rain extended my driving time by three hours. The link from one highway to the next was a mountainous road. Not only was I driving at night, but I also have never experienced curvy roads going through a mountain. I downshifted into third gear and prayed for strength. The Holy Spirit told me to look ahead, not to the left or the right, and to keep my eyes focused on the yellow middle line, indicating whether the curve in the road was to the left or right. I breathed a deep sigh of relief when the sign for the major highway said “2 miles.”
The next day when I entered the Pensacola Bay/Three-Mile bridge crossing over the most massive body of water that I have witnessed, I was prayed up and prepared. Instead of fear, I was able to look at the vast body of water with a different perspective of beauty. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 NKJV
Obedience to God’s will requires doing something different. The life-changing experience happens for everyone who proclaims that Jesus is their Lord and Savior. My experience was almost like Abram’s, though I have traveled extensively through the state of Florida, I had never even heard of this city. Like Sarah, I laughed at the prospect of leaving Texas and moving to Florida. I did not deny that I laughed, but I failed to acknowledge the power of God when I did not trust Him to fulfill His plans for my life.
The time is approaching for you to come to the crossroads where God says, “This is my plan for you.” Will you do what God is asking you to do?
Bible Study: Genesis 12
God, many times we say, “Yes, Lord, let your will be done in my life,” but we do not realize that your plans are very different from our plans. We ask you for the faith to always trust and obey when you lead and direct us. Thank you for your love, grace, and mercy. We ask for a special blessing upon our lives this Sabbath as we spend quality time praising and worshipping you. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.