Community in Action

No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to the king the mystery he has asked about, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries. 

Daniel 2:27-28a


    I love reading mysteries. I especially like them when clues are embedded in the story to test our sleuthing skills. Yet, in life I am not so keen on a lot of mystery. Sure I like being pleasantly surprised and I like those serendipitous events that cause us to smile, but sometimes I get a bit anxious when I don’t seem to know what is going on around me, shelter in place does that to you.

    Recently I had a serendipitous event occur which I saw as one of those mysterious God happenings. I was asked by a colleague to loan them a book. Unfortunately in one of my book purges, I gave that book away. I told them the sad news, but since I had a couple of other books they were interested in I could still help them.

    Later I realized that particular book in question might still be with the person I had given it to. I had this person’s email and I knew where they worked, but no phone number. The need for the book was time sensitive so I decided on my way home I would stop by that person’s work just to see if they might be there. There was no reason for them to there because we are all sheltering in place, right?

    As I pulled up in the parking lot to my disappointment I noticed there was only one other car in the lot, that person was leaving, and they were not my friend. But just maybe they would have some helpful information so I jumped out of my truck. From six feet away I identified myself and asked if they had the phone number of my friend.

    The driver knew who I was from a long ago meeting and he did have a number which he thought belonged to my friend. I called the number and left a message for my friend. He called back saying he had the book and would be willing to drop it off at John Knox since he lived right near there.

    The next day at noon the book was dropped off, I took the other books I already had and headed out to my first friend's house. I called them on the way with the great news. They thanked me for all the extra effort, but they had found a copy of the book they wanted already.

    What? It seemed as though the previous events that had unfolded were divinely appointed. Who would have thought a chance meeting would lead me to being able to obtain the book, and now it wasn’t needed. A mystery for sure. My excitement about divine intervention was quickly squelched. Why would God help me get the book and then already provide it for my friend?

    I am still pondering this, but at this point I can only conclude that my friend's prayer, to get the book, and mine, to get the same book, were answered. These prayers may not have been verbalized, but they were hopes and desires all the same. And God did answer them, yet I didn’t get any credit, but then maybe that is a lesson to ponder.

    Helping out others is an important part of being a disciple, but do we always need to get credit? Do we always need to be acknowledged for the good we do? Should the good we do be enough in itself?

    God's ways are not my ways, but sometimes I would like a hint if I am following Him in the right way, don’t you?

    Learning to trust Him in all I do, with you,

    Pastor Randy

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