Points to Ponder: God-incidences - Blessings in the making
Points to Ponder
God-incidences - Blessings in the making
I look for God-incidences. A lot of people call them coincidences, but that's probably because they're not paying attention. Often they happen while you're on the way to do one thing, then this other thing occurs at just the right time. Your whole day can be redirected by one interruption. On a recent bicycle tour, this happened to me.
Every year I ride in the MS (Multiple Sclerosis) Bike Tour. This year it was in Chestertown, on Maryland's eastern shore. After the tour on the weekend, I was to go to a Prayer Conference in Seaford, Delaware (about 60 miles) the next day. With rain in the forecast, I decided to leave the MS Tour Sunday route and ride my bike toward Seaford, planning to layover in Denton.
Nature's call compelled me to stop at a convenience store outside Greensboro. It was seven miles to Denton, but the situation was a bit urgent. So I asked a man coming out the door if there was a restroom. He said he had a hotel down the street and welcomed me to follow him there.
It was the Riverside Inn, a century-old two-story hotel that overlooks the Choptank River. Doug, the owner, warmly welcomed me to relax awhile in the upstairs, enclosed porch. With windows all around and a cool breeze blowing through, he offered refreshments and all the time I wanted, to just hang out.
Doug and his wife have refurbished this fine old place, a mixture of late 19th century architectural style mixed with modern features, which our spoiled generation has come to expect. Discovering that I was a pastor, he introduced me to a family friend who came by to help around the place.
Estelle, having heard that a "minister on his bike" had dropped by, brought her grandmother's King James Bible and came to meet me. She loves the Lord, loves to pray and do Bible study. My original plan after finding those necessary "facilities" was to find a church to attend on the way to Denton; however, it turned out that I would have church right there with Estelle.
We did what Jesus told the very first Christians to do - "be witnesses of Me" (Acts 1:8): Tell your story of what you've heard and seen Me do. We walked through several scripture passages, dealing with some concerns and questions she'd been burdened with for some time. This was a God-incident. My immediate needs had brought me there. Her need for scriptural guidance was answered by the "coincidence" of my well-timed arrival.
I stayed at Doug's hotel that night, instead of going on to Denton. He and his wife, Mary, were so hospitable (and they needed the business more than the Best Western in Denton).
Estelle baked an angel food cake, with blue icing - "for blue skies". It was sort of a confectionary prayer (if you bake it, so it will be). It was a thank-you gift to have with my coffee, which Doug brewed and brought over the following morning before I left.
How good it is to touch lives and to be touched by them. A series of small decisions led me to that little hotel that I did not even know existed. Nor did I know that Doug, Mary, and Estelle existed either. But by coincidence our paths crossed. A God-incident, in that such blessings do not happen by chance.
In an earlier time of my life, I might have missed this beautiful change of plans. I have always been a scheduled, get-it-done type person. I pace my bike trips so that my rest intervals are properly timed, I get the miles done, and I get to where I have to be in an efficient manner. But that day, I saw the potential for an adventure in blessing. I was looking for a restroom, and found a cool hotel. I was looking for a church to attend, and I had church right there among new friends. I lingered in Greensboro far longer than I normally would have, and that was okay. Relationships take time.
I believe that God puts us in the lives of others by plotting "intercept courses," God sees who's traveling in what direction. He knows who needs to meet you and when. You don't know enough of the big picture to see where you need to be; but He does. And "things happen." Sometimes it's just best to roll with it. It may be a God-incident in the making. An adventure in blessing for someone - possibly you - is being written by the Author of life.
"You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. ... You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it" (Psalm 139:3 and 5-6).
Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring, MD (1/4 mile east of Clear Spring on Rt. 40). Listen to Pastor Dennis on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs, at 10:45am and 7:50pm, both days); and every Sunday from 7:30-7:45am on "Consider This". www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.