No one loved a good meet-up more than Jesus. Just the right person at just the right time.
It was a never by accident, and sometimes required him to stray from his typical path to seek out a specific person. Other times, they looked for him.
The woman at the well.
The man in the tree. (Zaccheus)
The disciples, on a stormy night in a boat.
The woman who suffered from a bleeding disorder.
The thief on the cross.
Divine appointments, organized by God for a purpose. To deepen a relationship or create a deeper understanding. To touch a soul; to prove he sees all and fully understands.
I think God does the same with us, as if the world was a chess board. He moves us around as needed so we can cross paths with another at just the right time and place.
And when it happens, you recognize something so personal and precise it could be no accident. An appointment that could never be scheduled on its own.
This happened to us a couple of weeks ago.
Our family was wrapping up a vacation at Hilton Head Island when projections showed Hurricane Irma swallowing the entire state of Florida to move it’s way up the eastern coast. Evacuation orders were issued into coastal Georgia, and we sensed the islands of South Carolina would soon follow, so we tried to beat the crowd and headed home a day earlier than planned.
But we soon found ourselves on I95 along with hundreds of cars bearing Florida tags, none of us moving too swiftly. In unfamiliar territory, we followed evacuation routes and headed inland, turning on unnamed side highways but having no real sense for where we were. After four hours and only making 100 miles of progress, we stopped at a McDonald’s for a late lunch, to figure out our route from that point.
At that very moment, I received a call from a long lost cousin I hadn’t seen in 15 years, since our grandmother’s funeral. I didn’t recognize the number, so it went to voicemail.
“Hey Cuz, I heard you were in my state and just wanted to say hello.”
I smiled when I heard his voice. It had been way too long, and I planned to call him back shortly.
In the meantime, I ordered our lunch while my husband made his way to the car to clean out a few things and plot our strategy to cover the 550 miles to get home. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed a car slowing down and the driver studying him from a distance. The car circled around and came closer.
Then, the driver called him by name.
“What in the world are you doing here?”
She parked the car and got out. At that same moment, I came out the door, staring into the face of my aunt, who I hadn’t seen in five years.
She had come to the drive-thru in her little town for lunch, at the exact same moment my husband caught her attention by walking through the parking lot.
I called my cousin and he soon joined us. And right there in the only McDonald’s in Beech Island, SC, we enjoyed a much-needed and unexpected mini family reunion.
We weren’t planning to be on that road in that town on that day. She wasn’t planning to get out of her car. My cousin just called to say hello.
And in that moment, we experienced an appointment so divine, so precise and personal, it could be no accident.
Because God knows we need each other.
Proverbs 16:9 – We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.