One could easily go in circles arguing whether God has predestined every single moment of your life or not. Free will? Predestination? I’m not going there! Regardless of what side of the fence you land on it is hard to argue that there are God moments in our lives that go beyond what can be explained by pure coincidence.
I had one of those moments last weekend that I must share with you.
Gary, Nick, and I were packing up our exhibit booth at the completion of the Next Level Conference in Savannah, GA on Friday of last week. Gary was taking Nick and I to the airport, so we could catch our flight home. While on the way to the airport I got a text message from American Airlines notifying me that our flight had been delayed. The delay was only going to leave us 10 minutes between landing and take off of our connecting flight. Catching that flight was going to be nearly impossible.
I wanted to try to stay positive.
I was traveling with my good friend, Nick, who is on the Autism Spectrum. Details are very important for him and this was a curveball. It was however only the first curveball. The second one came only a few minutes later. While we were unpacking the car at the airport I got another text message. It was notifying me that our flight was being delayed again, meaning we were not going to make our connecting flight.
Gary joked that he was going to beat us home. He was driving from Savannah, GA to Louisville, KY. Him beating us was a very real possibility. As he joked, I replied, “Maybe God has a divine appointment for us.”
I honestly don’t know if I made this comment, because I really believed it or if I just wanted it to encourage Nick in the moment. His head was spinning with what this meant for us getting home. I wasn’t sure.
Our flight had been re-routed to Cleveland instead of our final destination, the Canton Akron Airport.
In the process of getting re-routed Nick and I had our seats re-assigned. We were now sitting in the last two rows of the plane. We were on opposite sides of each other, each having a window seat. As we got settled in it was hard not to see that the flight attendant in the back of the plane with us was clearly bothered by something. Having flights delayed and re-routed affects more than just the passengers. Our flight attendant was frantically making phone calls to make sure that everything was covered with her family since she would not be returning on time.
Being an introvert, I am not typically the outgoing type that makes casual conversation with neighbors on plane. That plus the fact that I was tired and wanted to go home made me want to plug in my ear buds and just zone out. But for some reason I felt the need to talk to our flight attendant and to include my friend Nick in on the conversation.
I simply asked if she was okay. She talked to me about the situation she was in with her mother and 8-month-old daughter. After chatting I introduced her to Nick. We talked about how we were presenting at a conference in Savannah, GA on Disability Ministry. While talking I let her know that my main job was to help churches either start or advance Disability Ministry.
As we talked we could see her light up. Normally when I tell people on a plane that I am a Pastor they usually shut down with a look of either fear or pity on their faces.
She then told us that her sister recently passed away from complications of Spina Bifida. As her eyes welled up a bit she proceeded to tell us that her family decided to start attending a church because they announced they were going to be starting a Disability Ministry. They wanted to go in honor of her sister that had recently passed away. She then said that their ministry had stalled and never really taken off.
This was no doubt a divine appointment. Without our plane getting delayed and rerouted we would have not been on this flight. Our seats would have never been reassigned. We would have never been sitting next to her. I would have never had a chance to give her my Ability Ministry business card.
I’m excited every time I open my email. I hope to see a consultation request roll in from her church in North Carolina.
Nick and I continue to marvel about this experience. Nick explains it by saying, “God just hit me with a brick wall!” as he slams his open hand unto his forehead. It was no doubt an experience that throttled us in a good way.
The more I think about it the more I question myself. How many times have I missed an opportunity for a divine appointment because I checked out? Was I only able to see this because I was trying to be positive for the benefit of my friend? Was God trying to make a point? Did He want us to see how BIG He is in a new way? Did he want to challenge our little faith by showing off? So many questions.
My challenge for you is this… Keep your eyes and ears open! God does not just show up randomly. God is always there. The question is do we have our eyes and ears open to Him, to His leading, to where He is asking us to simply be obedient? God may have a divine appointment for you in the most peculiar places and situations.
Equipping and empowering disability ministry for churches, families, and individuals affected by disabilities to become who God has created them to be.