Over the Thanksgiving holidays, my mother-in-law came for a visit. She flew from Massachusetts to Michigan.
Flying these days is not for the faint of heart, especially when you get stuck with a change of planes at O’Hare. I think half of my gray hairs are a direct result of mad dashes through O’Hare to catch connecting flights.
But I digress . . .
So, my mother-in-law VERY rarely flies. In fact, she hadn’t visited us in about five years. Needless to say, I was praying extra hard that she’d have smooth traveling, especially because she had one of those you-never-know-what-might-happen connecting flights at O’Hare. The last thing I wanted was for her run into disaster and then decide not to fly for another five years.
The day before her departure, I had my women’s Bible study group pray for her. And then the entire day that she was traveling, I was constantly lifting her up in prayer.
When my phone rang halfway through the day and her name showed on the caller ID, of course I immediately had visions of her lost in the enormous and chaotic airport unable to find the gate for her connecting flight.
When I heard her voice and realized she wasn’t in hysterics, that she was even joyful, I breathed a huge sigh. We only talked long enough for her to tell me she’d made it to her gate and to say, “God gave me a divine appointment today.”
When she’d finally safely landed here at our little airport in central Michigan several hours later, she was beaming. Yes, she was exhausted since she’d had to leave her house at 3:30 am to catch a bus. But her face was lit with the thrill of all that God had done.
During the bus ride to the Boston airport, a woman had gotten on the bus and just happened to sit next to my mother-in-law. Little did my mother-in-law know at the time, but this woman was taking the same flight out of Boston.
As the harried day unfolded, this God-sent helper guided my mother-in-law through every step of her journey, through check-in, security, and to her terminal. Then when they landed in Chicago, the stranger led her along the winding maze of crowded hallways at O’Hare directly to her next flight.
I couldn’t have asked for a more direct answer to prayer than if I’d written out the instructions for God.
It sure looked like God had divinely appointed someone to meet my mother-in-law’s needs. So why did she say, “God gave me a divine appointment today” as if she’d been the one doing the helping?
Yes, no doubt about it, the stranger blessed my mother-in-law. But more than that, my mother-in-law saw the meeting as a divine appointment for her to bless this woman in an even greater way.
During one of the periods of waiting for their flight, my mother-in-law took out her Bible and began to read it. As she did, she turned to her helper and asked if she’d ever read the Bible. The woman said she was raised Catholic but hadn’t read the Bible in a long time.
So my mother-in-law proceeded to talk to the woman about her Bible and how easy it was to read. The woman, now curious, willingly took the Bible and began to read it for herself. She was very excited about how easy it was to read, so of course, my mother-in-law insisted that she keep the Bible.
By the time they parted ways, the woman was on the phone with her family exclaiming about her experience reading the Bible in a way she never had before.
We lift our requests to God.
And he answers them so unexpectedly. So divinely.
During this month, when the Divine One came to earth, I pray that we will ask for and seek divine appointments in our lives.
Divine appointments can come in any shape and form, often in the way we least expect. After all who would have expected the Divine to take the form of a baby in a manger?
Divine appointments. All God asks is that we be willing and watchful.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.
How about YOU? When have you seen God clearly answer a prayer?
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