Divine Assignments

I believe God schedules divine appointments as we daily interact with people.  We who walk with the Master cross paths with untold numbers of people who briefly yet decisively impact our lives.  Along the way, we are issued assignments from the Throne!

While pastoring in Alabama, one day I stopped at an Exxon station to fill up my tank.  When I went to pay the cashier, I discovered that I had left my wallet at home.  God knew my heart and I’m sure smiled at my “senior moment.”  A total stranger, who just happened to be a Baptist pastor, was also standing at the counter.  Upon hearing my dilemma and sensing my embarrassment, he paid for my gas. 

When I introduced myself and offered to exchange addresses, he replied, “God sent me to help you.  I did not need gas but God told me to pull in here to help a fellow pastor.”  Our encounter was brief and amazing.  He paid my bill, wished me well and drove away.  I had been the recipient of both a divine encounter and assignment from the Throne.

Another divine appointment took place when I attended youth camp in the summer of 1970.  There I met a counselor named Dan Parker.  He was in his early twenties at the time, a man of obvious compassion – the kind of guy whose natural charisma made me feel special and accepted.  He took a keen interest in each of the eight boys in our camp cabin. 

I went to camp feeling insecure and backwards.  Not being athletic like the other boys, I had difficulty making friends.  In short, I was socially awkward.  And to make matters worse, I did not know Jesus.

On Monday evening of camp, the Holy Spirit dealt beautifully with me but I resisted His convicting power.  I left the service, went back to my cabin and cried myself to sleep.  The next morning Dan sat with me at breakfast.  He took a personal interest in me, asking about my family, my interests and hobbies.  He poured into the life of a 14-year-old country boy!  And he gave me glimpses into his life.

As we walked to the camp tabernacle for the morning Bible study, Dan reminded me how special I was to God.  He assured me that God had a plan for my life.  Then he placed his arm around me.  “I’m praying for you,” he said. 

That evening I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. Dan wept and rejoiced with me.  He hugged me and told me how proud he was of my decision to live for the Lord. 

I’ve thought about Dan Parker many times over the past 47 years, wondering where life took him.  After camp I lost contact with my wonderful counselor, but somewhere there’s a man who crossed my path, touched me and walked away.  Heaven has record of that divine appointment and completed assignment. 

I wonder what MY next assignment will be!         




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