Monday, April 29, 2013

A Crazy Acquisition: Serendipty or Providence?

While my last post focused on the details of the house that we are buying, it did not include the story of how we acquired this particular home - and it's a pretty wild story! But the question I keep asking is whether it was was mere serendipity or God's providence that has allowed us to purchase this home?

Mandy and I knew, when we moved to Bozeman, that we would start shopping for a home pretty quickly, but we also wanted to be patient. About a month ago, we were at a garage sale and noticed that the house we were at was also for sale. After perusing this house, we suddenly found ourselves interested in beginning the house-hunting process. The very next house we looked at, our second house overall, was awesome. We loved it.

We had yet to talk with bankers and realtors, so we figured we would begin that process and hope that this home was still on the market when we were ready to make an offer. It wasn't. Within about 24 hours it had already received multiple offers and we found ourselves needing to move on to other housing options.

Over the next few weeks we probably looked at about a dozen houses, and by last Wednesday at noon, we were pretty sure we had found our future home. That decision lasted about 2 hours, when our realtor called us to let us know that the house that we had originally loved was back on the market. The contract had fallen through and it was back for sale. Seriously?!!? Amazing! And to top it off, the sellers of that house were willing to wait for us to see the home again and make a decision about it before re-listing it and making it public. The next morning we visited that house, fell in love with it all over again, decided it was the one for us, and made an offer that afternoon. The next morning we heard that they had accepted our offer, and we are now about a month away from being homeowners. So fun! So exciting!

What a story, huh?

So, back to my original question. Was all of this just dumb luck? Did this house just fall back into our laps by mere coincidence? Or was God's hand involved in providing us this home?

Well, that's a tough issue. On the one hand, I definitely believe that God is actively and intimately involved in our lives. God hears and is impacted by our prayers. God cares about what happens in our lives. But on the other hand, does God act in the world through things like providing houses for people? In a world where people die every day of hunger and lack of basic needs, is God really focused on making sure I have just the right home?

Or put another way, does the idea of God providing us this home mean that God took a home away from someone else. We found out recently that the original buyer's offer/contract fell through because the woman lost her job and could no longer afford to purchase a home. I certainly don't believe that God caused someone to lose their job so that Mandy and I could have our dream home. But there definitely are a lot of 'coincidences' that had to happen in order for this purchase to fall into place. It's difficult. I don't have any answers, just lots of questions. Simply put, the circumstances around the purchase of this home have invited me into exploring a topic about which I don't often think, the providence of God, the nature of God's interaction in the world.

What are your thoughts on the topic? Is God actively involved in the day-to-day happenings of our lives? Is God orchestrating the seemingly mundane details of our existence? What is the nature of God's interaction with the world?

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