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Friday, January 29, 2016

Divine Appointments

Traveling is always an interesting experience, and this trip was no different. On the first flight, in a small plane, my husband and I were separated. I found myself next to an athlete who is trying to make the national team for the Rio Olympics. We chatted and shared, and the inevitable question came, “Why are you living in Spain?” So, I shared about our church ministry and left him with a gospel tract.

On arrival at our first layover, a young woman was confused about how to do something, and my husband helped her. In the exchange, they talked about values, and my husband was able to give a word of testimony. He gave her a gospel tract.

By the time we arrived at our destination late that night, we’d given out four tracts to people we were able to speak to directly about the Lord—wide open opportunities for a witness.

Later in our trip, we missed a flight due to a storm, and we ended up in a long, long line at the airport customer service. In a second line, I was talking to the family behind me, and it turned out they are Christians. The woman said, “I get so involved in my own church community, that I sometimes forget about the great needs in other parts of the world.” While we were talking, I noticed the young man in front of us in line was listening to the whole conversation, sometimes leaning over to hear what we were saying.

We were with a family who had coupons for a certain restaurant. Almost on the spur-of-the-moment, they invited us to share dinner with them. Waiting for a table, we noticed a large family of well-behaved children who were also in the waiting area. After dinner, in the parking lot, I saw a woman walking around in the parking lot. When she paused, I could hardly believe my eyes: she was a high school friend from several states away. You can imagine the reunion! While we were talking excitedly, the family with many children walked by, and my friend exclaimed, “They’re missionaries, too!” We met the husband, and he mentioned his wife wasn’t feeling well. When I asked what her name was, I knew her—though we’d never met personally—from an online missionary fellowship and her very excellent mommy blog. Through another series of “coincidences,” she and I met later.

My sister and I were walking in a mall—my first time out shopping—and we ran into one of my best friends and her daughter.

As a Christian, I don’t believe in coincidences. The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way (Psalm 37:23). Proverbs 3:6 says, In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Now, I don’t claim to be good, since only God is good. But my position as a forgiven sinner in Jesus gives me His righteousness. I’m far from a “perfect Christian.” In fact, I’m just a struggling person, trying to exercise the little faith that I have.

So, I’m amazed how God puts us in just the right place on the right day and at the right moment to watch Him do something special. In fact, although on this trip, we saw it happen quite a few times, it is not unusual to see God put us right next to someone who needs Him. I could tell so many stories!

Once, the whole plane’s seating got mixed up, since they changed planes and packed one instead of taking two. I was next to a married woman, whose husband was seated in the back—as was mine—and a man whose wife was somewhere else on the plane. The flight was something over four hours, and the woman next to me had so many questions about faith in Jesus. We talked the whole four hours. Anytime I got quiet, she asked another question. The man behind her seat leaned forward the whole flight and listened to the entire conversation. It was amazing how natural and flowing it was to share Christ with a woman from an entirely different religious background!

Another time, I was in an airport and noticed a striking couple. They were beautiful, tall people with the air of being wealthy. All their luggage matched. Oddly enough, they flew economy class, and the wife “coincidentally” ended up next to me. Again, it was such an amazing witnessing opportunity, and she kept asking more questions. (Her husband, being a very tall man, wasn’t seated with her.)

I believe God does this ordering of our steps more than we realize. (It’s not only in airports; I guarantee you!) We need to be open to the opportunities and ready to share words of witness to those around us.
  • Pray that God will put you in the right place at the right time, today.
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit will alert you to open doors—when He is working in hearts.
  • Don’t be afraid to open your mouth for God. Be bold.
  • Look at others through Christ’s eyes. Learn to be sensitive to people’s needs, and be compassionate. Look for bridges, so that you can identify with others and reach them for Jesus.
  • Enjoy divine appointments—watching God use you to share your faith with others. 

God bless you!

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