Back in the ‘90’s and early 2000’s, the television show Touched By An Angel featured fictitious angels that would interact with people’s lives and then leave those people with important decisions on how they would react to pivotal moments in their lives. The optimistic show, starring Roma Downey, Della Reese and John Dye, brought he possibility of divine encounters to the mainstream – if only for the show’s nine season run.
But does God really work in people’s lives like that today or are angelic encounters and divine appointments merely fodder for TV shows, Facebook statuses and bumper stickers?
Well, there was an evening several years ago when my family’s Volkswagen Thing broke down along the I-5 outside of Santa Barbara and my dad was faced with this very question. Dad pulled onto the grassy center median and discovered that we had a flat tire. The problem was the odd design of the Thing. It was unlike any other car that Dad had dealt with before and he couldn’t figure out how to operate the jack and change the tire. The second problem was the stretch of road we were on – to call it dark and desolate would be a huge understatement.
Then, completely out of nowhere, a guy appeared and asked Dad if he’d ever changed a flat on a Volkswagen Thing before.
He then went on to show my dad the unique method to jack up the car and started to get everything prepped. Then, when Dad turned around in the middle of it all – the guy was gone.
Now, Hebrews 13:2 says:
“Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!”
With this in mind, my dad is convinced that the guy on the road was an angel who came to help us.
Sometimes, some events occur that are simply unexplainable.
And the truth of the matter is that if we believe in God, then we must believe in the supernatural, since God Himself is not of this world.
To take it to the next step: If we believe that Jesus is all He said He is and believe His teachings, then we must believe in angels and demons.
The sad thing is that most people think that supernatural things like encounters with angels (or even demons for that matter) simply don’t happen anymore. Therefore, even when divine appointments may happen, we too often are unable to recognize them or reason them away as luck or coincidence.
Why is it that so many people – even those who confess to believing in God – restrict Him to the small confines of what they are willing to accept?
So, can God divinely appoint us humans to interact with one another instead of always using His angels?
For instance, recently my dad, out of nowhere, happened to help a woman who was carrying some boxes. As they entered into small talk, she divulged that her husband had just recently passed away and that she was really wrestling with some tough questions. Dad was able to encourage her with some words that he had just read from a book about heaven and bring a bright spot to her day.
As their discussion ended, she told Dad that she had gone her whole life without ever talking to a stranger until that day. But for some reason, she felt compelled to talk with my dad that day.
You see, Dad was able to be used by God to encourage that woman, simply because he was willing to take a moment to see an opportunity to help someone and act on it.
One key to being used in this way is to learn how each of us is gifted and then hone and sharpen these talents and gifts so that we can be observant and prepared enough to use them.
Whether is mercy, hospitality, teaching, encouragement… the list of gifts goes on and on in the Bible; and each person who has chosen to follow Jesus has been supernaturally gifted. So, the second key is to recognize these “divine appointment” moments.
Then, as we look into the rear view mirror of our lives, it’s easier to see that God is truly alive and working throughout our lives.
Realizing this makes the future – no matter how daunting it may appear – easier to face because we know that we’re not alone in this journey. God is supernaturally, extraordinarily right there with us.
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