When we moved from Iowa City to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1969, we bought our first house. It was a pleasant three bedroom home with a large back yard. We soon learned, however, of the disadvantage of locating on a wide busy street—there was to be no crossing the street to play with other children. Since we were flanked on each side by two elderly people, the availability of children was limited.
There was another problem: for Linda, but not for me. The busy avenue was noisy, even at night. As time passed, her sensitivity heightened until I was pressured into considering an alternative. I reluctantly said, "OK", but shopping for a different house was going to be in her lap. She accepted the deal.
It wasn't too long before we learned that a nice house in the same Christian School district was for sale, by people we knew. Linda checked it out and fell for what she saw. I went, and agreed it was a fine house, so we made an offer. Our offer was accepted and soon we were the 'de facto' owners of two houses. It was January. Closure would be in May.
We listed ours with a real estate agent and confidently went on with our lives, aiming for the move five months later. We were comfortable with the knowledge that we had nearly a half year for selling ours and preparing to move into the new one. But to our dismay, as the date for taking over the new house, and taking over a new mortgage, came closer, our house remained unsold.
Linda shared our predicament and terror with a friend who lived around the corner. Judy immediately offered to come over and pray with Linda about the problem. Linda accepted. Judy came over the morning of the day we were to go to the Home Loan Bank to sign the papers for the new house. Together, Linda and Judy prayed for a solution—for a buyer. Then I arrived and the two of us went to the bank to do the paperwork. The prospect of having two loans to pay was a horrendous thought. It would be impossible!
After we arrived home, I headed back to my work at Pine Rest Christian Hospital. By the time I was back in my office, a call was waiting for me. The message was that a lady buyer had come over to look at our house, and had made an offer! She did in fact buy it! She was the first serious looker in five months, and she showed up the day intense prayer had been offered.
Was this a coincidence? Was this good luck? Draw your own conclusions.
I believe prayer was the facilitator.