Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14
I’m attending Lipscomb University’s Summer Celebration this week. (I head home tomorrow.) I hardly know anyone here… after all, it’s not Harding. But I have run into several people (“ministering spirits” Heb 1:14) who God has used to bless me since I came to the States in 1999.
I caught up briefly with Harold & Joyce Redd last night. Bro. Redd preaches for the Midtown CoC in Memphis. This was the first church I attended 24 hours after I arrived in the US. My Nigerian roommate provided a ride. I’m not sure that I had ever met an African-American before that moment and now I was sitting in a church surrounded by them. Although I had just got my feet on the ground, I was already feeling isolated because I didn’t know a soul in the city and the city certainly didn’t know me. I’m convinced God’s Spirit guided me to sit in the same pew as Sis. Redd. Immediately, when Bible Class finished she came over and loved on me. In less than 60 seconds we realised that we both knew the Hartman family who had spent a lot of time working with the church in Australia. How unlikely is that?!? I have felt loved at most churches I’ve been part of, but none more so than Midtown!
Then I sat down at a table in the caf for dinner and started chatting with a guy there. It turns out that he was in the one class a took at Lipscomb. More than that, he gave me a ride home one night as I didn’t have a car. He remembered me… I had no idea. But God used Deron to bless me at a time I needed assistance.
I attended another presentation by Rabbi Joseph Shulam in an auditorium witha couple of hundred people present. I was slightly late and just sat down where I could find a spare seat. After the presentation I realised I had sat next to Mike Buckley, a former campus minister at the University of Tennessee and current associate minister at the Laurel Church of Christ in Knoxville, TN. I had previously met Mike about 6 years ago at a campus ministry workshop just as I was beginning that ministry in Louisiana. Since we were at opposite ends of the experience spectrum I appreciated the interest he took in this newbie. Having said that, Mike remembered me, while I just had a vague idea that I’d met him before.
All of this came after I had started the day attending a breakfast hosted by Kairos. Last year at the Summer Celebration I attended several sessions hosted by Kairos where they discussed church planting, growth and evangelism. The resources they connected me with have helped guide me as Lawson Road renews its emphasis on engaging our community. Scott Lambert and Stan Granberg have answered my questions and continued to point me to helpful resources. It was great to catch up with them again.
While here I’ve met other people whose path has previously intersected with mine, but these were the signifcant ones yesterday. I take away two lessons from these people.
- God works in my life. I might try to network, but God is the real networker guiding me to the encouragement I need at each point in my life.
- God works in my life. I will never know all the lives God can touch through me. Just as angels can minister to me without me recognising it at the time, sometimes I will be a messenger for God into someone’s life without me recognising it.