I’m sure they happen. Random acts of chance. Unbelievable unplanned happenings. Statistical unlikelihoods. Amazing coincidences. I’m sure they happen, but I’m skeptical of them. What I’m not skeptical of though, is the reality that God does amazing things in our lives every single day to open our eyes to His love, our worth, a deeper purpose, the reason for hope, and motivation for change. I had an experience last night that proved that to me once again.
Last night we kicked off our 2017 Vacation Bible School program, and we had kids and adults roaming all over the campus. VBS is always high energy and lots of fun. My job for VBS is that I have no job. I just kind of roam around and talk with our church people, which is nice for a lead pastor to have a chance to do, and that’s what I was doing when it happened.
I was talking to Chris, distracting him from his job with the Safty Team, when Stacy got my attention with a “Hey, there’s the pastor.” Followed by a “She needs to talk to you.” Almost everyone tends to do whatever Stacy tells them to do, but this time she had a particular urgency in her voice. So I walked over and met a young lady who looked as if she couldn’t quite believe what was happening.
She had been trying to get away from a very desperate situation. Bad relationships, painful choices, and life disappointments led her to our area looking for a break, and hopefully a new start. She remembered that she had a friend from Lebanon, and while she wasn’t living here, she was alone, and thought she might look her friend up and drop by for a visit.
Google can do amazing things, but sometimes it is absolutely incredible when it makes a mistake. She did a search for her friend, found an address, and when she followed the directions, it led her to our church. I don’t think her friend has ever even visited LifePoint, but for some reason she ended up here, and we just happened to be open, full of life, and full of people, on a night when we are normally closed.
I took her to a less chaotic location in the church to give her one of our Unbroken books and to help her with some food. As she read the back cover of the book, she burst into tears. Those seven stories hit home, and she was starting to see the light of hope.
I didn’t want to leave her alone so before I went to the food pantry, I stuck my head out in the hall and I immediately saw Steph. Steph is one of our leaders that just happens to have a tremendous testimony of overcoming abuse and all that comes with that. She is one of my go to people, especially if someone just needs a little love. As they were getting acquainted, I went back to the hall and saw Mindy. A few years ago, when our church was still just a baby, Mindy was powerfully saved and God began an incredible work in her. She is one of the seven stories in our Unbroken book, and she has allowed God to use all that pain in her past to become an integral leader within our church. It just so happened, that both of those ladies, who just happened to carry many of this young woman’s same scars, were available at just the right moment.
When I came back into that room with a box full of groceries, they had a box of Kleenex and were there with her. Listening and loving, not lording over her or judging, but providing comfort, extending hope, and letting her know that it was no accident that she showed up at LifePoint that night. Some might say that all of that was just a tremendous coincidence, but I know better. God is on the move, there are no accidents!
She came to town looking for a friend, God led her to a family.
Maybe you need to read this for some inspiration. Life has been tough, you have been wondering where God is at in the middle of all your struggle and chaos. Let me just tell you something, you didn’t get here by accident either.
God is on the move, and He desires to lead you out of and beyond whatever it is that you are struggling with now.
Perhaps as you read this you were reminded that at one time in life you had a Stacy, a pastor, a Steph, or a Mindy that was there for you even when you didn’t know you needed them. God has put a Light in you to shine into the dark places in the world. Don’t be afraid to come alongside someone and just love on them a little, you never know what kind of difference it will make.
God moves in mysterious ways, often when we least expect it. He has amazing plans for each and every one of us, and those plans are awesome! He shines His light and shares His love with us every single day, but sometimes he does something as crazy as working through an internet search engine when we need direction, to bring us exactly to where we need to be.
If you need some inspiration or are just interested in a copy of our book, Unbroken, I’ll send you one for free, just comment below or send me a personal message here, or through social media, and I’ll be sure you get one in your hands unless I have already ran out of copies.
Open your eyes, God is on the move! There’s no telling where He might take you!