Divine Encounters Continued...
Last week I shared the amazing story of my two “divine encounters” as I like to call them with my nephew the pilot. I do not believe in coincidences rather I believe that God sets up people and things to meet each day. Those random chance encounters we have; I believe they are not so random.
I hope you are starting to understand my December theme – God’s timely appointments. God wants to be involved with the people He created – you and me. He started by walking with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:8) God is real, and actively working around us all of the time. The Bible is full of incidents where people are sent, or an angel or even God Himself shows up unannounced and met with people. These messages that were brought by these divine encounters were a combination of good and not so good news.
Take Mary for instance, the mother of baby Jesus. An angel simply appeared to her and told her she was going to be a mother, and not just any mother but the mother of God’s son, Jesus. This might seem like good news to us, but it was complicated. Mary was engaged to Joseph, she was only a teenager and unwed pregnancy did not go well back then, it was a good way to get yourself killed. Mary embraced it with joy because she knew it was a supernatural visit, a God encounter that started the whole thing and she was in love with God. Luke 1:46-55
Gideon was another one that God showed up to but he found it hard to believe. He kept testing God: if it is really you, then do this…. And then after God did it, Gideon needed to test to see if it was God again, and again. Gideon was skeptical. Book of Judges 6:36-7:23
I find in my life these divine appointments come out of the blue, totally random, no warning. I can be skeptical as well sometimes. Take the time I had driven my friend to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. As I sat in the vehicle waiting for her, an elderly lady shuffled by with a walker. I say shuffle but it was even more painful than that, she was barely moving. She had a kerchief on her head and no gloves on her hands, it was a cold day out. I watched her closely. I prayed that God would help her and then I waited as two walking ladies were coming up close to her, they simply walked around her.
The pharmacist came out of the building and I was sure he had spotted her and was coming to see if she was okay, but he too did not talk to her.
We were in a two-seater truck and there was no way I could offer her a ride so when my friend came back I pulled out into traffic and started down the street praying for this lady.
I distinctly heard in my spirit “give her your gloves”. Now I am sheepishly going to admit that I argued back, “I like these gloves.”
However, I knew that God had spoken to me, so I sighed and then told my friend, “I am sorry I have to make a stop here,” and pulled over to the curb. I got out and went up to the lady and asked, “Do you need some help?”
I got back quite a terse reply, “No one can help me my dear! The doctors tell me my spine is turning to mush and my legs have tendonitis. I am 90 years old and I live alone with no one to help me, I have to do everything myself.”
I stood there quite frankly stunned, and not sure at all what to do. I thought I was simply to give her my gloves, but this was way bigger than I thought. I still could not offer her a ride, we had 2 seats and they were taken.
“May I offer you some gloves?” I said as I held out my pair.
“I have gloves in my walker,” came the reply.
I asked her where she was headed and she told me the 2 stops she was heading for, both in the next block. I wondered if she would make it and knew that this must be vitally important that she would venture out so unsteadily like that.
I was mystified, what was I supposed to do for her since she did not want my gloves. We chatted for a few minutes and then I had to leave her there on the sidewalk and drive away. She shuffled on.
I prayed for this woman all that day and even through the night and the next morning. I did not have her name, or any way of knowing anything about her. I prayed she had made it to her destination and back safely, I would never know.
I am a prayer person and I intercede all the time for people, occasionally people come back to me and tell me when they get their prayers answered but it is not often. It is so exciting to hear how God has answered people’s prayers, it is so rewarding but it is unusual that I get to find out. God does not owe me an answer and I do not expect one. I know God is working and leave the outcome totally to Him.
Imagine my great surprise the next day when the friend I had been with said to me that her brother just happened to be in the store that the walker lady shuffled into. They knew her at the store.
I asked her if my shuffler lady was okay and she said yes according to her brother she had gone into the office stationery store to buy more pens because her nieces kept stealing hers.
My heart rejoiced with this news: 1) the lady was not having an emergency, she simply needed pens 2) she had nieces which meant she had family in her orbit to help her, she was not totally alone.
I may never know why exactly I was supposed to stop and offer my gloves to this lady, but I do know I was supposed to pray and I did. I also knew it was not a random encounter, it was a God appointment.
As I stated last week, these are the kind of things that make each day exciting and adventuresome. Sometimes I know exactly why I am there and other times I am left standing there wondering what to do except to pray.
This month of Christmas, even if we are not going out much and all masked up, look for the encounters, the appointments that God has placed in your path. Who are you to talk to? Who are you to pray for? Who are you to be the representation of God to by offering your gloves, a coffee, a warm smile or even a prayer? These are some ways that we can be the gift of God to other people not just in this Christmas season but every day.