I am the queen of lists. My super cute-yet-functional planner is never far away. But if I really want to meet with someone, or have an important conversation, God is my best scheduler. And it has been too much fun seeing the connections He makes.
Outside the Lot
Occasionally in San Diego, I get to work with The Grove church (love the people there and their heart to serve!). Recently when I was at a Sunday service, in the middle of worship, I started thinking about one of the ministries there and how I could get involved.
The person I needed to talk to was the pastor’s son, who is a minister of the Lord in his own right. But how many of you know when a service is over, trying to get the undivided attention of one of the leaders is almost impossible!
So, I didn’t even try. I made a mental note to call later in the week, and walked out to my car in an upper parking lot (the church sits in an office building with two parking lots). Here’s where it gets good.
Turns out I had parked my car right next to Just in Time, an organization that helps transition foster children to adult living, and they were having an open house. Which meant they needed to clear out the cars in front of their space. Which meant they got one of the leaders of The Grove involved – any guesses which one came out to see what cars were parked there?
That’s right, the pastor’s son! So I got to have the conversation I needed anyway, just by God’s orchestration.
Around the Corner
Another time, I was visiting The Movement church where a good friend was going to be prayed over. During the time of musical worship, a young woman in the row in front of me starts singing. Her voice and heart for the Lord just caught me (I can still hear her singing and it overwhelms me sitting here now).
Turns out it was someone I had met casually that morning before the service began. I knew I wanted to encourage her and convey how her time with the Lord deepened my own time of worship.
But it’s a big congregation. And by the time service is over, and I’m finished talking to the people around me, she’s out of there. Well dang.
But I should never underestimate my God! Twenty minutes later, when most of the crowd is gone and I’m getting ready to go, I walk around a hallway and bam.
Walking towards me was the worshipper. I was able to talk and encourage and bless her just as she blessed me! And really blessed our God (He LOVES when His kids sit at His feet!).
Ok, so those stories happened in the same building. Maybe it’s coincidence, right? It can’t be too hard to meet someone within the same walls.
But how about across town? At another service, this time with Acts Now, a ministry I work with on a regular basis, a friend came with me from out of town. There were specific people I wanted her to meet, and all but one of them was there that day.
The final gentleman, well, I didn’t even send up a prayer. I was just disappointed she wouldn’t be able to meet one of my fellow ministry partners-in-crime (side note: can someone please give me a euphemism for working together with another person that does NOT involve crime?).
We were supposed to meet my sister for lunch, but she needed another hour or so before ready. So we decided to grab a snack at this amazing acai bowl place (Northside Shack for those in San Diego), which is in a shopping center off the main road.
We get our food, go to sit out on the bench, and who is walking down the street in front of us!
That’s right, my friend we missed at church. Did I mention that this is a significant time later, miles away from the building, on a side street??? I just had to laugh. Thanks God for that blessing of a meet-up!
Across the Country
One more story (but oh, reader, if we ever get a chance to talk there are so many more examples!). This time, we’re going from across town to across the country. While I was still living in Ohio, I heard several stories about a young believer in New York who was making waves for the Lord.
His faith and the signs and wonders that followed him reached my ears in the Midwest. That time, I did pray, “Father, I really want to meet this guy.” I wanted to see him in person, and hear testimonies out of his own mouth!
Then I moved to California. Somehow, I didn’t see a flight from Cali to New York happening. So, I didn’t even think about it. Nine months later, I am at a small gathering for a group of men in a special Christian recovery program.
Before the meeting began, I was making conversation with those around me, and one of them had the same first name as the believer in New York. But hey, first names can be pretty common.
Then the meeting began, and the moderator had us go around and introduce ourselves and where we’re from. Then the ball drops – it WAS the believer from New York! God had blessed him with a flight to Los Angeles, where he heard about this gathering in San Diego via an unrelated conversation between a San Diegan and a New York friend, and drove down to be a part of it.
And it gets better! While there was a whole weekend event planned with a lot of people, that night was small. And a storm ended up making it even smaller. So, I got the chance to sit with this believer, and hear his story of his Damascus moment (like in the book of Acts where Jesus shows up to Paul), and hear several testimonies from his own mouth.
To reiterate, a guy from New York that I heard about in Ohio I met while in California. Who but God could work that out??
And who knows what meet-up He has planned for me next!