Monday, August 27, 2012

He's an On-Time God

The wedding venue was everything the bride dreamed it would be.

A gorgeous gazebo on a lake with a canopy of white lights floating over the guests’ seating area would be perfect for an outdoor wedding at night.

A deck and patio fit for a king to escort his princess daughter down the aisle. Even a huge banquet hall for a lavish reception to follow.

It would be unbearably hot in August, but the trade-off for getting married outside would be worth the discomfort of the heat.

Her future mother-in-law caught her eye. “What if it rains? Will you be okay with getting married in the banquet hall if it rains?”

“Yes.” She gave a confident smile. “But maybe it won’t come to that.”

Months passed while she planned, shopped for a wedding dress, picked out decorations, cakes, rings, and tuxedos. The week of the wedding arrived, and a whirlwind of activity turned the wedding venue into a romantic fairyland of twinkling lights, gauzy bows, and an array of fuchsia, tangerine, and canary flowers.

Her excitement knew no bounds.

Then the unthinkable happened.

It rained.

And it didn’t just rain, it poured. A gully-washer of magnificent proportions.

For hours.

But suddenly, with less than two hours to spare before the ceremony, the rain disappeared. And under a cloudy sky with the temperature so perfect nobody even thought about the weather, she married the love of her life in an outdoor ceremony in August in Mississippi.

That bride is now my beautiful daughter-in-law.

We spoke on the phone as the wind and rain tore through the gazebo and flattened the gauzy bows her aunt and I had tied on only an hour before. I was in the banquet hall putting the last minute touches on the tables. She was in a cabin across the lake, being very brave, but I could hear the disappointment in her voice, knowing the wedding she dreamed of was going to be altered by the rain that refused to stop.

At the time, the rain seemed like the worst possible thing that could have happened, but you know what? God smiled on that wedding when He sent the rain. Hard to believe, but it's true! The rain dropped the temperature to a perfect 70-75 degrees, and the cloudy skies were a photographer’s dream for the shots of the wedding party before the wedding. Sorry, those photos aren't available yet. :(

The rain was just one of the many, many smiles God bestowed on us for my precious children's wedding day.

I wanted to share this with you today because it really hit home to me that when things aren’t going according to our plan, they’re still going according to God’s plan. Always.

That contract we didn’t get, the agent who didn’t sign us, the promotion we missed, or that contest we didn’t win, or________(fill in the blank!) … It’s all part of God’s plan.

Keep doing your best, stay cheerful, thankful, optimistic, and trusting. Even the rain that looks like it’s going to ruin your perfect day might actually make everything better than you ever dreamed!

If you trust and obey, God will meet your need in his perfect timing.


  1. Beautiful sentiments, Pam. Congratulations to you and yours on the blessed family event.

    God's plan - Well, for me this has been a year on the 'learning curve.' Tons of lessons in every event. It's been a hard with so much loss, but I'm grateful to be in the Lord's care. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

    Peaceful hearts to all...

  2. Fuchsia, tangerine and canary, how pretty. Post more pictures when you can.

    I think it was Corrie Ten Boom that said "God is never early but He is always on time."

    Thank you Pam for some encouraging words.

  3. Fuchsia, tangerine and canary, how pretty. Post more pictures when you can.

    I think it was Corrie Ten Boom that said "God is never early but He is always on time."

    Thank you Pam for some encouraging words.

  4. Pam, congrats and a heartfelt reminder of truth much needed for me today. Blessings.

  5. Pam, I couldn't agree more! What a beautiful re-telling of a moment that blossomed from dark into light!

    What a beautiful bride and groom. Oh my stars, I would have loved to be there, helpin' serve, stirrin' dishes, servin' cake!

    Gorgeous, Pam. Just eye-catching gorgeous!

    I love weddings and they're about the most stressful things on the planet, but that's our fault. Still, I love a beautiful wedding (and beautiful doesn't mean a ton of money spent, it's all in the juggling...)

    You know we are a fretful lot, we humans. Thank you for this reminder to let go and let God.

    Love it!

    Coffee's here.

    Flavors: Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, Pumpkin Spice, Vanilla Cream and plain old joe! Dunkin is on the way with food...

    Grab one of those breakfast sandwiches or a doughnut... Shh... I won't tell!

  6. What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing with us today.
    Jackie L.

  7. Hi Pam. A beautiful story, told so well that I could see all the rain and then the sunshine peeping out making the day special.
    Isnt that the way it usually is we decide how we want something to be and when it changes we think all is lost and in HE swoops and makes it better then it might have been at the beginning.
    We have so much to learn everyday if we will but listen.
    thanks for sharing today.
    Paula O(

  8. Pam,

    Such a wonderful reminder to all of us!

    And congratulations to you and your growing family!

  9. Wonderful post, Pam! Fabulous pictures. I'm so glad everything turned out so well for all of you!

  10. What a beautiful story, and a wonderful start to their marriage!

    I love the reminder that God has no plan B. There's only the one, perfect plan.

    Congratulations on your new daughter-in-law!

  11. Oh Pam, What a lovely story and a lovely wedding and lovely bride and groom.

    And of course the mil is wonderful. smile

    You are so right. Thanks for sharing this.

  12. So, so true, Pam! We have things all mapped out in our minds just the way we think they should go, but God says "I know the plans I have for you." We can step back and let go of the self-imposed frutrations and stress, knowing He's in control.

  13. Beautiful story Pam! Congrats to you and especially to your new son and daughter in law!

    It reminds me of a day when my now-5yo son was little. I forget why hubby wasn't going to church but it was me and 4 little kids and pouring rain. Today, in the same situation, I'd drop them all off at the front door under the awning and admonish them to stay put while I parked. But at the time the oldest was 5.

    We pulled up to church and as we got to the parking lot the rain stopped. Completely. As best I remember, it only stopped for about 5 minutes but that was enough for me to get everyone inside. It doesn't seem like much but that was such a stressful time [DS took A LOT of care round the clock - much more so than most babies - and I think it was right after his surgery, when he couldn't burp and DH had kidney stones and was in so much pain he didn't go much of anywhere] and that break in the rain was just what I needed.

    He's such a good God, isn't He?

  14. Hey! I even found an old blog post on an old blog about it!

    If God Cares About the Little Things

    which led to me rereading all of that blog [there's only a couple dozen posts on it] and so many of the posts end with "God is Good. All the time."

    So true. And such a needed reminder this morning :).

  15. PAMMY!!!
    Dear friend, what a way to start this morning, I love it!
    Oh my gosh, my sincere congrats to your son and daughter. God's blessing, how beautiful! I always love to hear about weddings!
    Thank you so muck for this word, Pam. It spoke directly to my heart and in fact I my go and re-read it. I thank God because I believe He used you through this post. And one last thing:
    Rumour has it that you'll be epublishing a book very soon. CONGRATS! Truly happy for you! :-)



  16. Wow! I was in such a hurry to type I didn't realise this

    - Much instead of muck
    - Might instead of my
    - Epublishing a new book to be precised

    And my comment looks similar to something Julie might have written...that makes me smile!

  17. Marvelous, just marvelous. I needed your message this Monday.

    Jeremiah 29:11-13 is my favorite passage for so many times in my life when I have been blessed to see God's plan in action.

    Peace, Julie

  18. I love that story, Pam! God is amazing! Amazing and good and all-powerful, and he loves us.

    Congratulations on selling your second book!!! Yay!!!!!!

  19. Pam, I loved reading your story. I always love hearing about how God comes through, so often making things better than we could have expected. I appreciate your message too, to trust God for his plan and timing.

    A few years ago, when we moved from Las Vegas to Colorado, we had a very short period of time to tie everything up in Vegas and prepare everything in Colorado. I had very specific, do-able plans mapped out in my head. And I shared them with God. He thwarted every last aspect of my plan to bring His about. And, yes, His was way better than what I had in mind. I love how He does that.

    Congratulations on your new book. I'll look forward to reading it when it comes out!

  20. Perfect reminder for the start of an new school year for me. I'm back to terrible commutes and long work hours between three jobs and was feeling kind of blue but you've reminded me that God's in control and I just have to let Him be and follow! Thank you for that. And congrats to your family and your new book deal. And guess who can download ebooks now that I don't have an ancient, cantankerous laptop?!

  21. Pam, thanks for sharing the lovely pictures and details of your son's wedding. Can't wait to see more! Your post is a wonderful reminder that God is always working. Even when things look as if they're going awry, He has a plan that is far better than ours.


  22. Oh, Pammy, thanks for the eye flush first thing in the morning, my friend!! I'm sitting here tearing up like it was my own kid's wedding and in some ways it feels like it was because it's been SO much fun to walk through this with you step, by step ... uh, especially without the expense!! ;)

    Beautiful wedding, beautiful couple, beautiful mother-in-law and beautiful analogy of God's love and timing!!

    It hit home for me hard -- just like that gullywasher of a rain -- clearing my head and my heart of fretful thinking to replace it with a clear, cool mind that now remembers we know a God who not only loves us with an everlasting love, but when it comes to His blessings in our lives, is never, NEVER late!!


  23. Beautiful words, beautiful wedding, beautiful insight.

    Thanks Pam.

    Jodie Wolfe

  24. What a beautiful couple, Pam! We know you're so proud!

    It's so true, though--humans can make all the plans they want, but ultimately God is in control. Peace comes from trusting Him despite what we see happening around us.

    Blessings upon the newlyweds--and hoping for some much deserved rest for you, Pam!

  25. Pam,

    Congratulations on your son's beautiful wedding and on your second book contract! Wonderful.

    And this message was exactly what we all needed to hear today! So thank you for that.

    (Funny how I seem to come across messages with this exact theme lately - think God is trying to tell me something? LOL.)

    Have a great day! It's raining here, but we need it.


  26. Ah ... Life's lessons :-)

    It rained on our wedding day but just as we stepped out of the church the sun broke through the clouds. Yeah, that was majorly cool!

    All the best to the newlyweds.

    Nancy C

  27. Hello all! Sorry to be AWOL, but for some reason it's Monday at work.

    Wonder how that happened? lol

    Lunch break so I want to get caught up with y'all.

  28. Lyndee, praying for you. Choosing to learn from my troubles and trials has saved me from a lot of heartache.

    Mary C, my sister-in-law sings "He's an On-time God". I didn't want to quote much of it here, but I'm sure it's on youtube somewhere. One line says, "He may not come when you want Him, but He'll be there right on time." I believe that with all my heart.

    Ruthy, I want Vanilla Creme! Yum!!!

  29. Jan said: I love the reminder that God has no plan B. There's only the one, perfect plan.

    I love this! Even my PLAN B of moving the ceremony inside might have felt like second best to me and my daughter-in-law, but with God, it still would have been his perfect plan! Wow!

    My son texted me mid-afternoon and asked what we were going to do if it kept raining, and I told him I had a Plan B.

    His response: K

    He also told someone his mother always had his back. Made me cry... lol

  30. Carol, love that story.

    More rain stories...

    Many years ago, my mother worked a factory job and had to walk about half-a-mile to where her ride picked her up. She told me once that in the years she worked that job, she never remembers it raining on her walk to/from that spot.

    Yesterday was homecoming at our church. Up until 15-20 years ago, all the church homecomings I attended were held outdoors, called "dinner on the ground" even though the food was set up on tables.

    Yesterday, my husband's 94 yo grandmother said she'd never EVER known of it raining out a homecoming meal. Come to think of it, neither have I!

  31. Wow, Carol, can you guess one of the songs sang at our singing yesterday?

    God is good all the time.

    Song by a little boy with music in his blood. He's probably about 10 now.

  32. So glad this touched you Ganise!

    That makes me very happy. A cheerful attitude and a thankful heart even in the face of our troubles is SUCH a better witness than griping and complaing.

    I save that for my 19 yo. He teased me the other day that I complained all the time. So I informed him that was his purpose in listen to me whine since I wouldn't allow myself to do it with anyone else! lol

  33. Oh, and Ganise, thank you for the congrats on the sale! Vengeance Rider is my second ebook sale to Tyndale House and I'm very excited.

  34. Jeanne T, thanks for sharing. I love it!

    God's plan is always better...what's sad is that sometimes I'm too hardheaded to look beyond my own desires and SEE that His plan was so much better than my own.

    Congrats on the new 'puter, Kav!!! :)

    And, Nancy, it rained on my wedding day too, just a short shower that didn't interfere with anything. There's an old saying that if it rains on your wedding day, then it washes all your problems away.

    And, a friend of mine married a girl from Indonesia. He said they pay (rather handsomely!) for a "Rain Man" who sings and dances for No Rain.

    He's been to 3 weddings in Indonesia, and he says there has been no rain at any of them.

    His Indonesian wife likes to point out that it's working!

  35. What a beautiful wedding, Pam! So nice that God is always in control. :)

    Thanks for a lovely reminder to always place my trust in Him!

  36. Beautiful!

    It's hard to know when to sit back and let things be, and when to stand up and yell, 'hey, this just isn't right...'

  37. Oh my, Pam!! Your post today gave me goose bumps (the GOOD kind!) and you gave us a wonderful reminder of the loving God we serve. If we humans could only always remember that God has a plan and things always work out for the best, we'd be a lot better off *sigh* (mainly speaking to myself here). But I am so glad the rain stopped for your family's wedding--it looks beautiful (LOVE those flowers, and the bride looks lovely). Congratulations, and I hope you're able to get some rest this week, LOL. Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo

  38. p.s. Meant to also add that one of my VERY favorite hymns to play on my piano is "Trust and Obey"---Love the music and that message! ~ PJ

  39. Hey Patti Jo! Trust and Obey is one of my favorites, too. It's the first song I teach to my 4's & 5's Sunday School class every September.

  40. Congrats, Pam, on your second sale!

    And for sharing your family event with us.

    Hey, Jan, saw your name on the choir list! That means I get to meet you!!!


  41. Awww! That sounds like a wonderful day. I've always heard it was good luck if it rained on your wedding day. It rained on mine and that has worked out just perfectly in my opinion :)

    Thanks for sharing!

  42. Kav, did you know that I was working three jobs when I finally got the call from Love Inspired????

    I totally understand where you're coming from. You hang in there. I just knew I was too all-fired stubborn to quit, LOL!

    Now it's two jobs, the day job and writing.

    But I am blessed BEYOND IMAGINATION. :)

    And I know you totally understand how I feel. Grateful to work, grateful to write!

    Hey, peeps, we've got rain here... I think everyone should come live in the deciduous forest lands of the Northeast. Cool springs, cool falls, cold, cozy, snowy winters, White Christmas MOST OF THE TIME!!! and summer never lasts forever, LOL!

  43. Virginia, you are so right. Sometimes I want to do that too!

  44. Lovely testimony to God's timing! Brings to mind the Talley's song. He knows what we need and will deliver right when we need it.

    Thank you for such an encouraging post!!!

  45. That's so beautiful, Pam. I'm sorry I've been awol today but what a perfect message.

  46. You know what? I went to a wedding outside once. It rained, right during the wedding. Came down pretty hard and we just stayed right there. They got married in the rain. It was a lovely wedding and they're still happy (the rain didn't stop that) and just had twin baby girls.

  47. >>> And, Nancy, it rained on my wedding day too, just a short shower that didn't interfere with anything. There's an old saying that if it rains on your wedding day, then it washes all your problems away <<<

    I like that saying, Pam :-) And congrats on the sale!

    Nancy C

  48. Pam, what a timely reminder wrapped in beautiful gossamer : )

    Lovely, lovely pics of the gorgeous bride and her handsome groom. More pics are definitely requested!

    I'm thankful God is with me whether I'm on time or not!!

  49. This is absolutely so true Pam. Thanks for sharing the pictures too!!!

  50. An on-time God. Thank you for this morning's meditation when there's so much in my life that has a not-yet feel about it.

    Be blessed,

  51. Beautiful story and congrads to the bride and groom! Nothing like a beautiful outside wedding!

  52. Pam,
    What a beautiful description of the wedding and events leading up to it. And the statement you made,
    "when things aren’t going according to our plan, they’re still going according to God’s plan. Always." - I really needed to hear that today.
    Thanks, Pam!!

  53. Normandie, it's amazing how we can feel so at peace with God's plan one day, then feel out of sorts the next.

    Today, I feel like I have so many things pulling at me that I can't get them all done, and I have NOWHERE as much to do today as I did prior to/during the wedding. So weird!!!

    So, that's when I have to stop and say, Lord, thank you for only 5 things on my plate today. Thank you for keeping all my (adult) kiddos safe. Thank you that none of us are sick or in the hospital.

    Edwina, trusting that everything is in God's plan will see us both through whatever trials comes our way. God bless!

  54. Pam, I'm sorry I missed coming by yesterday. What a beautiful post! I feel like I was there. :)


    By the way, it poured before my wedding as well. Mine was indoors, though. Still, I was upset. It actually stormed. But the sun came out and it was gorgeous for photos! Everything was so nice and green.