There are times in our lives when our Lord orchestrates encounters, and when they occur we might initially think it’s only by chance. As our faith matures, we become aware that everything is handcrafted entirely by our Creator. Knowing this before, during and after they occur, even as the aroma of the events linger … it’s nothing but pure joy! How God can intimately put people and situations together is definitely incredible.

Last Saturday morning was one of these moments.

As I walked by brother Jim’s house during my morning constitutional, I texted him from the foot of his driveway. I saw lights on and wanted to connect and wish him a good day. I received a text back just as I returned home. I texted, “How about coffee?” He came back, “Great, I will put on a fresh pot.” (Note: I only have 1-2 cups of coffee per year… generally with family around the holidays). This morning was different. I wanted to live on the wild side.

The gift of banana bread from good friends spoke to me as I gazed at it back at the house … hey,I needed breakfast! Although banana bread doesn’t last long in our home, the three weathered bananas above it looked to be “on deck” for another loaf. I quickly changed clothes, grabbed my Bible, the loaf, and was out the door.

Heading down the driveway, I see the Wesco popcorn bucket; and as one tire needed some air, I thought I would kill two birds…

As Jim opens the door, I hand the popcorn to him and we head to the kitchen. He looked at the bread. He had not had breakfast either. I asked for cream/sugar and I laced my coffee pretty much like my dad did — only not as severe. The coffee tasted good.

As we sat down, Jim said he was singing “Nearer My God to Thee” during his devotional time, when I texted. Funny? No. By Chance? Nope.

I took gloves and a mask but didn’t use them. “No plague would come under his tent, I murmured,” as I gave him a hug.

The conversation and fellowship was simply effortless. Here is a partial list of the topics we touched on:

1. We marveled about creation and how life began both with creatures and humankind; the physical world and limitless space and how it all came into being.

2. We acknowledged our desire and thirst to know about the sequences of events over time as they are recorded and even before time existed.

3. The mystery of corn and how it is able to grow without a brain… the flight of bees and hives and honey; hummingbirds as they migrate to the south and travel hundreds and hundreds of miles — much of the distance over water. How can they do it? Then we chatted about ants and their organizational structure.

4. We watched the squirrels in the rear yard and we touch on the amazing strength of one strand of a spider’s web. I mention that the two bald cypress trees in the rear yard are uncommon around these parts.

5. …and the rear kitchen window chimes ring out, always a signal to me that the Spirit moves on the wings of the wind and lets me know that He is always present.

6. …and talking about the events of the week and how we have seen the Lord at work and that we have done our best to join Him in this work.

7. We talk about the uniqueness of the opposable thumb and the engineering marvel of touching each corresponding finger in poetic fashion — tip to tip, back and forth in sequence.

8. …and how the Lord rightly has brought everything forward in the fullness of time. That His timing is always perfect.

9. …that each of us was purposed to be born and live at this particular time in history and that everything is moving forward just as God is willing it to be.

10. …that our first and last breaths are all orchestrated by God.

11. …the sheer fact that our loved ones who have graduated to Heaven are beholding now what we all long to see… they are literally face-to-face with Jesus and God.

12. …that the curtain of the Temple in Jerusalem was rent from the top to the bottom on a specific Good Friday many moons ago and because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross — we have unhindered access to God because of the death-burial-and-resurrection of His Son, who is the Christ.

13. …that these Saints who have died in faith really don’t have time to look back and see if we had pork chops last night or that we said our prayers or that we brushed our teeth. Why? Because they are busy worshiping and praising the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords along with the entire host of heaven.

14. …because what they are experiencing, beyond the limits of time, is now the only thing that matters.

15. We participate only to the extent that we are still bound by it… and they are loosed from the constraints that currently tie us to time in this world.

So they don’t have the time (pun intended) to see what we are doing. And, if I could be so bold, they probably don’t even care. The reason? The time it will take for us to join them in paradise is not even a blink of an eye from the perspective of eternity.

How many years do we have left in this life? Or take the span of a human life in comparison to the expanse of forever. Minutely small to continually expanding.

When we get there, those present that we have known during our lives and even those we have not known will probably fully know us and we, them. And with a blink of an eye, we will pick up right where we left off.

Jim and I shared a bit of time together and two hours flew by like it was nothing. Maybe this is what heaven is going to be like. “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past and like a watch in the night.” Psalm 90:4 NKJV.

When I was leaving, the front porch chimes rang out. What a nice ending to an appointed encounter with a dear friend.

As I walked in the door at home, banana bread was baking in the oven. What a pleasant aroma!

Joe Wagley is a Realtor and broker in Lenawee County. He is the owner of The Wagley Group in Adrian. He can be reached at 517-265-6000 or by email at Joe@TheWagleyGroup.com.