Divine Appointments

I had just boarded an airplane in Portland, nothing unusual in and of itself, on my way to Boise, when we heard the dreaded words, "Please deplane as we are experiencing mechanical difficulties." There was immediate speculation about the real cause.

Since there were only a few passengers on the plane the cynics were grumbling that the airline would make us just wait until the next scheduled flight a couple hours later. To our amazement we had barely gotten off the plane when they told us we could reboard and take any seat we wanted since the plane was relatively empty.

When I sat down, a young professional woman sat in the same row with me and began to strike up a conversation. I'm not usually the type who likes to chatter on a plane. I'd rather read. But she was inquisitive. She wondered what I did. I told her I had just returned from a short overseas mission trip where I had been the speaker for a series of meetings.

By this time the plane was heading down the runway, and she continued the conversation. "So what did you speak about," she queried? Now that was an open-ended question if I had ever heard one, and I had a captive audience. "Well," I said, "I talked about various Bible topics." To which she responded in a way I will long remember. "Tell me about it. You've got 50 more minutes! Go for it!" And I did.

I've thought about that incident many times since. It was not a coincidence the whole plane had to empty out so we could get reseated, and I would end up sitting next to a lady who was open to study the Bible. Call it what you like but I'd call it a divine appointment. It must be fascinating to be an angel and be responsible to arrange all those "coincidences" just so God can lead us into or away from situations for our or others' good. And then the sobering thought—the flip side. How many times have we missed those opportunities because we weren't open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

Saved by the Voice

A number of years ago a nationally recognized evangelist was scheduled to fly to a speaking engagement. Arriving at the airport he had a strong impression he should not board the plane. Wanting to meet his appointment he debated with the inner voice but ultimately stepped aside and didn't fly on the plane. A few hours later he learned the very plane he was to have been on crashed, and he would have been killed.

When reporters realized he was originally scheduled to be on the doomed plane, they interviewed him and asked why it was that he was the only one spared. To which he responded, "I heard the Lord speak to me." The reporter said, "So how come you were the only one God spoke to?" And the man of God humbly responded, "Maybe I wasn't, but maybe I was the only one listening."

It is no question that divine appointments come to all of us as Christians. The question is how often do we miss them because we aren't listening to that still small voice?

Think about that as you read in this GLEANER about other divine appointments.

It is no question that divine appointments come to all of us as Christians. The question is how often do we miss them because we aren't listening to that still small voice?

February 01, 2008 / Editorial
Share