During this week in 1846, the USS Portsmouth entered San Francisco Bay, and landed forces from the United States Army to occupy it. The US Congress had declared war on Mexico in May of that year, spurred on by events leading from the Annexation of Texas in 1845. In mid-June, when word of the war reached California, about 30 American settlers staged a revolt, and overpowered the small Mexican garrison in Sanoma and declared independence, calling themselves the California republic. By the end of the month, the Republic surrendered its independence, and joined the US Army in its efforts to secure what was then the upper west coast of Mexico. Arriving in the bay on July 7th, the Army landed on July 9th, securing Yerba Buena, renamed to San Francisco in 1847, and from there secured the rest of Northern California within a week.
The interesting part of the story, however, is that gold was discovered in 1848, and by 1849, the gold rush was on. Timing, as they say, is everything.
Sometimes, we wonder at the timing of events in our own lives. Why did I have to lose my job NOW, why did I have to get sick NOW, why did the car have to break down NOW, we often ask. Not always, but often, when we look back at the course of our lives, we realize that if we hadn’t have lost that job, we wouldn’t have gotten the better one that came along. Sometimes, it seems that Someone planned for it to play out in the way it did. There’s a reason for that.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Whether we acknowledge it or not, God has a plan for our lives, and He has promised to look out for us as we follow it. When we buck that course, we exercise our free will, but we also can disrupt the good things he has planned for us. By seeking Him, and following His will for our lives, we are promised a hopeful future. Pretty cool.
(map showing major campaigns of the Mexican-American War)