It’s taken me a long time to write about this: roommate Michelle is leaving. You may already know that she is going to work for Mercy Ships and will be living on a boat docked off the coast of Liberia for the next six months. And I’m sad. Sad because I will miss Michelle dearly. We’ve lived together for three years—that’s longer than I’ve lived with anyone who was not related by blood.
Last night we threw a farewell party for her, and as I stood in the kitchen, stuffing goat cheese into dates and wrapping them in bacon, I thought about when it was that Michelle first started talking Mercy Ships (it’s been over a year) and everything that’s happened since that time. I thought about the frenzy we were in nine months ago, desperate in our search for a new roommate, and how we couldn’t figure out why God would make us move out of our large, beautiful house. But if we were still there, our landlord would never have allowed Michelle to sublet her room for six months—and then what kind of pickle would we be in?
At the time, none of us could have foreseen our current situation, and in that respect, I’m always amazed at how mysteriously God works. Oftentimes, we pray for one thing—i.e., for Michelle to get to go on Mercy Ships; and then we pray for something else—for us to be able to continue living at the house on sixth, all without realizing that one contradicts the other! To me, it really speaks of God’s heart and his priorities, that he was willing to inconvenience five people and cause all the stress of moving, when all along he was trying to get Michelle to Liberia. Because after all, what’s more important from an eternal perspective: our personal comfort or the chance that the poor and needy will get to experience the love of Christ through Michelle? The answer to that one is easy and also serves as a reminder that the next time I’m experiencing something unpleasant, to have faith—God’s probably at work doing more than just giving me a hard time.