I believe our lives as followers of Jesus, are filled with divine appointments. Divine appointments with God, and divine appointments with people. I have had what I feel are many divine appointments as a follower, some are surprising and exciting, some I realize were divine days or months after they happen. Well, last Thursday, I woke up, unaware that God had requested a special meeting with me.
After a couple of emotional days, I woke up Thursday morning, craving God’s Word. My emotions were high, and I had been crying a lot over the last couple of days. Now, I am a total crier, it does not take much for the tears to start for me. But these days were hard ones…some hurt from my recent past was brought up again and I was feeling angry and broken. On this morning, I just wanted God to take that part away. I began praying, and I asked Him to help me put it behind me, to walk away, to not think about it anymore. I also begged Him to help my family find “our” church. We have been without a church for about four months now, and it has been weighing on not just my husband and I, but our children are beginning to feel it as well, and that was frustrating me.
After some time crying out to God, I opened up my Bible study book and started reading my study for that day. I read the introduction, and came to the part where I was supposed to turn to verses in my Bible. I opened up my Bible and started reading…and holy heavens…the verses spoke so, so, so, so, so, so, so, clearly and pointedly to my heart and the hurt I was feeling. I thought, “Ah yes, of course this is where we are this morning.” Honestly, this is not so rare for me. Often when I open my Bible study, God really speaks to something I am experiencing right then. But…I went back to my Bible study and started answering the questions, and became confused, because the questions did not match the verses I just read…
Y’all. I was in the wrong book, wrong chapter, but the right verse numbers. I kind of chuckled, and started to read the right verses. Then, I realized, this was a meeting God called me to. So I decided to meditate on the “wrong” verses. Through this passage, God showed me, even though there was hurt involved, from a Kingdom perspective, I had done exactly what He assigned me to do. I accomplished the task He had for me, and He was using the progress. I immediately bent my head in prayer. Prayer of thanksgiving, and prayer of forgiveness. I felt like I was being released, set free, finally in a place to move on.
That would be a great story if that was it…but God was doing more. Earlier in the week, a friend and I planned to meet for ice cream this night. We met, and talked and talked for about an hour an a half about life, love, kids, etc. Toward the end of the night, she asked me about our church search. We talked about my frustrations, and just about the time we were going to head home, a man sitting two tables over from us, apologized for overhearing us, but wanted to know what we look for in a church.
Turns out, he is the pastor of a new church, and he was curious, what was important to us as we visited. Did you smile? I know. Right?! We talked about church, and visiting churches for about 15 minutes, and we heard a little bit of how and why we started his church. As we talked, I started to feel a tug from God and thought, “Is this the church I was asking for this morning God?”
I decided not to say anything about my morning with either my friend or this Pastor, but as we talked more and discovered, we both home school our children, we have a very similar church philosophy where young people and reaching into the community are concerned, I decided to share. As I shared about my morning with God, and a bit about my hurt, of course, I started sobbing…then apologizing for sobbing. This Pastor then spoke truth right to my heart, prayed for me and my friend, and we said goodbye. Crazily enough, we ran into each other the next day, at our state home school convention.
Divine appointments. God is always working, always with us, and always making All Things New. We did go visit the church on Sunday, it is in a movie theater, which is crazy cool and brilliant for a number of different reasons I will share another time. The two things, I shared with this Pastor, I look for while visiting churches, is high quality but not overly produced, wholly authentic worship, and a feeling of inclusiveness, not exclusiveness.
I should not have been surprised to find both on our first Sunday. At one point during worship, their bass player was on his knees in worship as he played, and three people from their welcome team, and the Pastor, walked over during the greeting time to meet each person in our family and learn our names. Not just because I shared either, there were a couple of other new families experiencing the same thing. I do not yet know if this is “our” church, but wow!
Thank you so much for joining me today. If you have a divine appointment story, I would love to write about it on my blog. Please, send me an email or comment here if I can share your story on my blog.
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