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Perfect Timing

((Sorry if you got more than one email this month. I accidentally published before the blog was ready))


Don’t you just love it when you have a foolproof case for something?

Well, I have proof God orders our steps.

I love mysteries, puzzles, solving riddles, and scavenger hunts. And God designs scavenger hunts for me. First, He gives me a desire. That is my Start Here. I flounder around a bit chasing down empty clues, but I don’t lose faith.

My favorite God directed scavenger hunts have involved books. Yeah, he knows that about me too. Keep in mind, they both happened when long-distance calls cost extra and there was no internet.

The first hunt occurred when I read about a series of seven books based on the life of Christ.  Start Here. Librarians informed me they had been out of print for years. So used books stores? Nada.

On a visit to my sister’s in NYC, she was game for making the series a quest. Using that ancient relic (Yellow Pages) we made a list of bookstores that sell out of print books and set off when the stores opened. Our system: ask each bookseller where they would suggest we go if their store doesn’t have the series.

We started at “Miles of Books,” which indeed had miles of old books. Then onward eventually to nine more stores. All-day we enjoyed walking the city, until finally, late afternoon, we had one last shop on our list in an obscure portion of SoHo.  We were tired, but both of us would not stop until we checked that last box. The storefronts there were tiny and crowded together. Three times we walked the block, going right by the bookstore because the sign was no bigger than a large index card in the corner of a window that held no books.

Just steps inside the door, I approached the counter and asked for the series. The store owner told me he’d owned the shop for years and had never heard of them.  Since it was our last stop, we looked around and marveled at incredible prices on some first edition books, working our way to the back of the quiet, oblong store.

In the stillness, twice, in rapid succession, we heard the door chime that announces entrances and exits. A few minutes later the store owner’s voice called back to us, registering disbelief.  “Ladies? Ladies? I think you need to come up here.”

His hands were deep in a UPS box sitting on the counter. “They just delivered this, and I rarely open them right away, but the shop was so quiet, I did today. Look what’s in it!” His eyes were enormous with astonishment as he held up one small brown volume after another. “All seven volumes of the series you asked for. The one I’d never heard of.” He shook his head in astonishment. “I’ve never experienced anything like this.”

“It’s a miracle,” we explained.

Dumbfounded he sold the inexpensive used books to me at cost.

If we had started with that store, the books would not have been there. If we had found the store the first two times we walked the block, our timing would have been off. If we had given up when we couldn’t find the storefront, the miracle would not have occurred. All-day we had walked with God ordering our steps through the suggestions of the shopkeepers. He ordered the driver and store owner as well! Although the books are not noteworthy, the experience is priceless.

The second scavenger hunt started when not one, but two different books mentioned an 1890 sermon entitled, “Acres of Diamonds.”  Start here.

A librarian told me it had been out of print for decades.

But, I have faith in the Head Librarian of the Universe. He could show me the next steps. I would look until He released me. So, I tried libraries in universities and big cities. Nada.

Six months later one Saturday morning I had fun perusing an estate sale, peeking in boxes with china cups, chipped plates, and old trinkets. Another crate held antiquated boxes of greeting cards and yellowed stationery. But a slim brown box at the bottom drew my attention. Digging it out, expecting more vintage stationery, I opened it to reveal a 75th commemorative edition of the 1890 sermon, “Acres of Diamonds.”  God directed not just my steps, but those who had the sale on that day.

Proof that God directs every step. And He delights in doing it!

Psalm 37:23 (KJV)
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.


(You can find “Acres of Diamonds” on the internet.)


How has God ordered your steps?

How do you feel when you realize each “misstep” was actually His will?