By Pastor Tyler Long
When you hear the phrase “divine appointment,” what comes to mind?
Perhaps it is a story in the Bible like when Philip met the Ethiopian Eunuch or when Jesus met the woman at the well. Some may think about their spiritual journey and remember how they first felt God speak to their heart.
A divine appointment is an event that may first appear to be random, but is soon recognized as having been caused by God. This past week, I had such an experience. My wife and I had a realtor over at our house to discuss some important life decisions. We had never met this lady, but soon into the conversation, we realized that the Lord was orchestrating this meeting.
This was the first time I had ever met Susan (name changed), but I soon found out that at one time she was a very active member of a local Adventist Church. Not only was she a regular at camp meeting and even led out in worship at her church, but she helped build one of the churches in our conference.
Susan’s face lit up as she shared how her family wrote their names on the two by fours before the drywall went up. She and her children wrote Bible promises that are still there today. They are covered up by dry wall and paint, so cannot see them anymore except in their memories.
You know what else you no longer see in the church that Susan and her family helped build:
You no longer see Susan and her family worshiping on Sabbath morning. Church politics, legalism, unkindness, and the list goes on is why Susan and her family no longer worship at the Adventist Church. It has been nearly 20 years since Susan has stepped into an Adventist Church, but the emotional pain that she endured can still be seen in her eyes.
As Susan shared her family’s journey with me, I knew that this was a divine appointment. In a calm voice, I said, “Susan, I am a pastor in the Adventist Church, and I am so sorry that your family went through this experience. You and your family did not deserve what happened to you, and I wish I could go back in time and make things right.” After nearly 20 years, what Susan needed to hear was an apology. We had a pleasant visit that concluded with prayer.
Not every divine appointment is about passing out Bible tracks or signing people up for Bible studies.
Some divine appointments may be the Lord helping us to correct past wrongs. We have thousands of former church members throughout the Washington Conference. If the Lord has your path cross the path of a former member, please listen, show empathy and be willing to apologize.