Sarah with Toney . . . and the key to her house
Have you ever had an encounter with someone, and they reminded you of the Lord’s goodness and involvement in your life? Our family met such a man recently when my daughter Sarah bought her first house.
Since she graduated college about 3 years ago, Sarah has been living at home, saving money for a down payment on her first house. Recently, the day arrived when she felt ready to spread her wings and fly. We prayed for the Lord to send a good realtor to guide her on the journey.
I contacted my dad’s wife Kathie, who is a realtor based in northeast Ohio, and asked her if she could check her resources and possibly recommend a realtor in our area of North Carolina. The Lord used that connection to lead us to Toney Black, a realtor in Concord, NC, with Allen Tate Realtors. We soon discovered he was God’s man for the job.
I call Toney God’s man because he conducted himself throughout the process according to the Colossians 3:23-24, NASB, standard: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”
Toney honorably and professionally led Sarah through the journey of finding a home. In fact, by his words and actions, he reflected many of the characteristics of his Savior:
Faithful and Steadfast
Once Sarah decided on her dream home, we were on our way to view it, when Toney called and said he had discovered someone else already had made a verbal offer on the house, and the owners had accepted it. The news was unnerving, but once we got to the house, Toney prayed with us that God’s will would be done. When he called the owner’s realtor, we all discovered that the intended purchasers had added some stipulations to their offer that the owners didn’t like, and the house was back on the market! Toney celebrated with us and guided Sarah through the process of making an offer.
Toney helped Sarah through the “due diligence” period of inspections. He stood beside her when the appraisal came in too low for the agreed-upon price. He negotiated other options for the purchase and helped her settle on bankers and lawyers, home insurance and mortgage insurance. He would call Sarah every couple days, and she would find out about all kinds of work he was doing behind the scenes on her behalf. He never left her or forsook her—just like the Lord never leaves or forsakes us and always helps us (Hebrews 13:5-6). In the end, Sarah got the house!
Kind, Protective, and Wise
Throughout the home buying process, Toney watched out for Sarah’s interests. He protected her well-being as a future home owner. He offered wise advice, based on many years of experience in the industry. He encouraged her when she felt discouraged or uncertain. Sarah came to view him as a trusted friend, and she valued what he told her. Many times, I would hear her laughing on the phone with him as he used humor to explain different issues to her or to offer her advice.
The scriptures talk of God’s lovingkindness, wisdom, and protection toward us (Exodus 34:6; Romans 11:33; Psalm 18:2, 30). We are blessed when He allows us to see His qualities in His people, whom he places in our lives.
Focused and Purposeful
We are told, “’For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope’” (Jeremiah 29:11, NASB). Toney conducted himself with that Bible verse in mind. He prayed several times during Sarah’s search for a house that the Lord would lead her and open doors for her. He prayed that those who would pass over the threshold of her home would be blessed as they experienced the Lord’s presence there.
Toney also works as a minister. His main ambition is to honor the Lord in how he conducts himself. It’s obvious in everything he says and does. He understands the Lord has a purpose in everything that happens, and Toney wants to cooperate with the Lord’s plans because he knows God’s will is good, acceptable, and perfect (Romans 12:2).
Our family felt extremely blessed to have an encounter with God’s man for the job of helping Sarah find her first home. She is busy this week moving into her first house, but she—and the rest of us—will remember the man that God sent to get the job done . . . and to remind us of who He is. May we all be God’s men and women wherever He would send us!
Question: Who has been God’s man or woman to you at an important time in your life? Comment at the link below.
Susan Jane King