Tonya and I lived in a rental apartment and then a rental house for pretty much the first two years of our marriage. Then we started looking around for a house to buy. One house in particular looked good and was in our price range, but it was dogged by a potentially serious issue.
The issue centered around a new road the state of North Carolina was building right next to the house. Since the state’s legal right-of-way extended far down into the bank that joined up with the house’s front yard, there was no way of knowing just how much of that bank the new road would take. How bad was the problem? It was bad enough to require the state to erect an intimidating warning sign on that bank, and bad enough to require any real-estate agent who showed the house to begin the conversation with, “I have to tell you that the state’s right-of-way extends…”
Needless to say, the cloud of uncertainty that hung over that house made it well nigh impossible to sell. Tonya and I could probably have gotten the place for a steal if we had been willing to risk having a busy road running only a few yards from our living room’s picture window, but that wasn’t a gamble we were willing to take. If we needed further confirmation that we were thinking correctly, I got it when I happened to run into a friend of mine a few days later. He told me that he and his wife had also considered buying that house, but the question mark about the new road had caused them to look elsewhere.
In case you are curious as to how much of that bank the new road ended up taking, the answer is: not much at all. Long after Tonya and I had bought another house and settled down in it, I drove past that other house one day just to see how the whole situation had resolved itself. What I found was that the new road was a major upgrade over the previously existing one, the people who had ultimately bought the house had beautifully redone the landscaping on that bank, and the whole place looked like something out of a Better Homes & Gardens magazine.
Did I feel a tinge of sadness and think, “That could have been us?” I’ll admit that I did. But it didn’t sting that much and certainly didn’t last very long. It passed as soon as my mind drifted back to that warning sign that had once sat squarely in the heart of that bank. That sign in no way, shape, or form had been a “Welcome, First-Time Homebuyers” sign.
Sometimes, in God’s sovereign plans, the timing just isn’t right for a thing to happen. It’s not that there is anything patently wrong with the thing or that it involves the committal of some sin. No, the problem is simply that two perfectly legitimate agendas are in play and there is no point of natural, unforced intersection between them. Going back to my illustration, Tonya and I were just looking to buy a house, the owners of that house were just trying to sell theirs, and the state of North Carolina was just trying to build a new road. No one was at fault in all of it, but that lack of fault still wasn’t enough to allow Tonya and I to pursue buying that house.
Perhaps right now you are attempting to forcefully bring something to pass that God’s timing isn’t allowing to happen. If that describes you, the best advice I can give you is to abandon your efforts and walk away. Rather than keep beating your head against an immovable wall or take some risky chance that might lead you to years of regret, just trust that God has something else in mind for you and get on with your life. Believe me, if He wanted the thing to come to pass, the way wouldn’t be blocked right now by conflicting agendas and imperfect timing. That’s why I say that no matter how good the thing looks to you, your best move is to let it go and stick with God.