January 2015

Have you ever had a Divine Appointment? If you don’t know what I mean, let me explain. A Divine Appointment is when you know that God has placed you in the exact moment, situation, and with the right person as He wanted to. There is no question that God arranged for you to be there in that exact moment. I had one of these recently, with some students from our youth group that I would like to tell you about.

I always tell the students if they come to youth group, and only a couple people show up, that I will take them out for a treat. Well, on a recent Wednesday this happened. There were only 3 people that came and they asked me if we would go out for a treat. I actually was thinking of making them help me wrap Christmas gifts, but I had to keep my word.

We decided to head to Bakersfield because one of the students lived there and needed a ride home. On the way I asked them for suggestions of where they would like to go. Dewar’s and Freddie’s were the suggestions, but I decided to go to Starbucks. Don’t ask me why because I didn’t even order anything when we got there!

As we sat and chatted, a girl (college aged) got up from the table behind us and asked us if she could ask us a personal question. She asked if we were religious and we said ‘yes.’ She asked if we were Christians and we said ‘yes.’ I wondered how in the world she knew? She told us she was writing a paper about how people choose religions just to fill a void and they don’t even know the exclusive claims that their religions make. She asked if Christianity claims to be the only way to God, and if so, where in the Bible it says that. I quoted her John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” She said that definitely sounded pretty exclusive.

It looked like that was the end of her questions, so I asked her about her spiritual state. She said she was raised Catholic, but was ‘whatever’ now (that means ‘nothing’ in today’s lingo). I told her the gospel message of Christ and told her she could have her sins forgiven by faith in Christ. Then I asked if we could pray for her, which we did. I must admit, I wish I could say she got saved, but she said ‘thank you’ and went back to her table.

I was floored by this Divine Appointment and I couldn’t stop talking about it on the way home. Just imagine: if one or two more students had showed up to youth group, then we wouldn’t have gone for a treat anyway. And, if I had simply gone where the kids asked, we wouldn’t have been at that Starbucks. And, if one student didn’t live in Bakersfield, we would have stayed in Shafter, not going to Starbucks. And, if we hadn’t sat where we sat she may have never approached us. Now, I’m not endorsing skipping youth group, or advocating my excellent choices of where to get treats. But, I know without a doubt that God wanted us to be there at that Starbucks at that exact day and time to speak the gospel to this young lady.

Now, I ask again, have you ever had a Divine Appointment? Well, they aren’t all as magical as the one we experienced. We have Divine Appointments every day! Each and every person we come in contact with is a Divine Appointment. God, in His sovereign plan, has orchestrated the events of our life to cause us to be in each situation that we are in. The reality is that it is up to us to not waste those opportunities. It may not be a gospel message, it may be an act of kindness, or a smile. But we need to think of each situation we are in as a Divine Appointment.

Pastor Mark Scialabba