The Right Seat

It is amazing the way God has us in the right place at the right time, down to the right seat. It has happened twice to members of my family just in the last week. Why does God do this? Is there a reason, or is He just having fun with us? Let me share these stories with you…

We were sitting in our “regular” seats at church, and we noticed a man sitting in front of us with a logo on his shirt. It was the logo of the company our son worked for in another state. He had seen it, too, as he sat there with us. We attend this same church together every Sunday. Our son had already wondered if he knew the man. He didn’t. Then he noticed his wife sitting with him and she “just happened to be” the VP of the company our son used to work for. When “greeting time” came, they acknowledged one another. She couldn’t quite remember where she knew our son from, but once he reminded her, she not only remembered working with him, she remembered his departure letter to the company…specifically…because he had included a Scripture at the bottom of his letter. (Ephesians 1:11) She told him it had made her think more about her interaction with others in the company that she knew were believers. It had been an encouragement to her.

The second “right seat” experience that happened with family this last week was even more remarkable. My mother-in-law, Wilma, was on the train heading our way for Thanksgiving. As she boarded, she saw an empty seat with a woman next to it. The woman invited her to sit there, so she did. They got to talking and Wilma heard the other woman refer to herself as Wilma. She asked, “Did you say your name is Wilma?” She answered, “Yes.” And that wasn’t even the end to who this “Wilma” was—it turns out she was a friend of my mother–in–law’s second cousin, and she had always been referred to as “the other Wilma.” They had a nice chat as they traveled along, both heading to see family for the holiday.

Why do these things happen? Nothing is a coincidence to God–not in His perfectly planned universe. We probably don’t see what God is doing most of the time with these meetings, but we can trust that there is a reason for them. Sometimes, maybe, it’s just for the pleasure of it. The Wilmas enjoyed each others’ company as they traveled along on the train. With our son and his previous boss, who knows? But we were astounded at the fact that they ended up in the same Sunday morning service, and sitting in rows right next to each other. Another service, or another part of the church, and they would have never seen one another.

Searching And Noticing the Divine is fun. It is interesting. And it keeps us in wonder at the ways of God. When Jesus left this earth after all He did to secure our eternal futures in Heaven, He took the seat to the right of His Father. Being seated on His Father’s right not only signified that Jesus’ work was finished, it is also where a person of high rank is seated. It gives them equal honor, recognizing them as possessing authority. God’s “seating plan” has a perfect order to it. Even when we don’t understand it, we can trust it. In ending this story, it is also interesting that our son chose to include Ephesians 1:11 when he left his old job, only to see God work it out that he would, years later, be seated next to the VP from his company during a Sunday morning service. Thy will be done, as God works out everything in our lives for the good of those who love Him.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him
who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will…

Ephesians 1:11 (NIV)