Sunday, June 25, 2017

Inconvenient Circumstances or Divine Appointments?


I've been taking you with me on my journeys lately -- even beyond my Holy Lands trip. Yesterday I alluded to my sharing God's love to a couple of people -- one being a young man who was the tow truck driver for my car. Here's the back-drop to that story. While driving from a friend's house, I realized I might have forgotten my purse there. I no sooner looked down to see if it had maybe fallen to the floorboard of my car, when I ran into the back of another car. I underestimated how close I was to the car when he stopped in front of me.

A simple distraction resulted in a boatload of inconvenience for me and the other driver -- getting repair estimates, getting rental cars, paying deductibles and other added expenses and lengthy dealings with the insurance company. I've done my best to remain positive through the process but it hasn't come without moments of angst. And I finally picked my car up after over six weeks in the repair shop, we found there were even more issues -- thus the need for a tow truck and now it's in the Buick dealership service department.....all this because I was momentarily distracted.

I think about many other close calls while driving and being distracted when I'd reach for my phone, talk to a passenger, change the temperature in the car, look in the mirror to check my make-up, eat while driving, etc. Seriously, this accident could have occurred many times before. I hope I've learned my lessons well and am completely focused from now on.

On the flip side of inconveniences, however, there are also the opportunities we have for realizing "God moments" that unless this incident had happened, there may not have been the encounter with the service people at the repair shop, or the tow truck driver or the insurance representative or even the other party in the accident. Opportunities to reflect patience, peace and faith in the midst of the storm; opportunities to be a light to someone else who is facing far greater circumstances than what we may be going through; opportunities to pray for that one who is hurting more than me.

Jesus came for interruptions AND distractions. He understood His mission. He was not trying to accomplish His own agenda but was about His Father's business. Our Savior was alert and on the lookout for just such strategic appointments -- what we could call human distractions turned divine.

When I think about Jesus' ministry, I am impressed by how many times He was interrupted. No, he didn't have a car or cell phone to distract Him, but He sure did get distracted by Zacchaeus in the Sycamore tree, by the woman with the issue of blood and the adulterous woman who was thrown at His feet, or the paralyzed man being let down through a roof to "interrupt" Him .

What could have been deemed "disruptions" found healing and forgiveness as a result of their encounter with Jesus. He did not resent them; He rescued them. There was such an obvious and genuine love emanating from His life that people flocked to Him. He was an attraction to distraction..

I wonder ... are people attracted to me when they encounter me? I remember nurses, doctors and medical staff being so drawn to us in the middle of our most challenging times -- simply because we didn't let the circumstances define us. We defined our circumstances as opportunities to be a light in the darkness.

We have the words of life to share with others. We have the love of Christ to give others. Perhaps, the interruptions and distractions are part of a Master plan that intersects our lives with someone who needs a healing touch -- even if it's right smack dab in one of our most inconvenient circumstances. If we don't show up for the divine appointment -- who will? Hmm -- just maybe my accident was really a divine appointment. That sure makes me feel better, anyway!

"The King will answer, 'Truly I say to you, as you have done it for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you have done it for Me." Matthew 25:40