“So why did you move here?” inquired Bill, the son of my landlord.
“A divine appointment.” The answer surprised him, so I knew I had his ear.
Although we had arrived in Washington nearly two weeks before, my schnauzer Gus and I had just started living in the house we had rented. Just as I had finished rinsing my hair that Wednesday morning, the water went out in the whole house. From other adverse events, I knew the devil was on the warpath because of God’s calling to the Pacific Northwest.
After seeing God work many times, I knew He had some good to come out of this unfortunate circumstance. I remembered Romans 8:28: “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” I also could see God’s hand at work because my hair was not full of shampoo; it was clean.
I loved the property. Even though it is next door to the local golf course, the house is secluded in trees. While I do have neighbors, they are not visible.
The birds and other wildlife are incredible. When Gus and I were on our first walk the same morning the water quit, I saw a mama California quail giving her chick flight lessons. The instruction went well because the next day I startled the chick, and it flew off like it had been winging its way since it hatched.
I sent a text message regarding the water issue. A few hours later, Bill was at my door to check on the situation.
The yard was overgrown with grass and weeds after more than a year of neglect. Thus, he used his weed wacker to clear a path to the pumphouse. There he discovered that the water pressure had dropped to zero. There was no explanation, just that the house had no water pressure. He reset the gauge; water started flowing again.
While he checked a few other things around the house, a conversation ensued. From many years on the phone at a Christian book publisher, I learned to ask questions and listen to the answers, which usually generate more questions.
I learned he had been a driver for UPS for about four years. I shared that I had stayed with friends a little north in Addy.
“What are their names?” he asked. I gave them.
“I don’t remember names much. Where do they live?”
“Outside of town, about eight miles or so.”
“Before the curve?”
“No, after the curve.”
“After the school?”
“Just before the school.”
“Oh, I know that house, 23 … “
While he may not remember names well, Bill does remember addresses where he has delivered orders. Before he finished calling out the address, I knew why he looked familiar. I had met him in January 2022 when I visited the area searching for housing. He was having trouble finding my friend’s house to make a delivery when we saw him on the long driveway, seeking cell service to call them. We took the shipment and parted ways after a bit of chit-chat.
Nearly six months later, the same man was on my doorstep. Except for God, what are the chances of that happening?
He took his turn to ask how I happened to move more than 2,300 miles from Michigan to northeast Washington.
“A divine appointment.” His eyes widened.
I did not know his thoughts about God or church or anything spiritual, but I did know that his wife believes profoundly in prayer. I shared with him my encounter with a complete stranger when I visited the area for the first time in September 2021, and I gave my testimony of how God called me to this part of the world.
Not only did I have a testimony to share, but this experience with him was also Matthew 10:18–20 in action:
"Ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you."
While he was not a governor or king, seeds of God were planted in that conversation, seeds for the whole family. I urged nothing. The words that emanated from my mouth were words of a witness of a powerful and mighty God. Words to encourage a soul.
The pen of Ellen G. White also reflected the sentiment of 1 Peter 3:15 when she wrote these words:
"You are to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; but what kind of fear are you to feel?—It is a holy fear, lest self shall appear, lest feelings of self-esteem and superiority shall mingle with your testimony; for if you would rightly represent Christ, self must be hid in Jesus." —The Youth’s Instructor, November 10, 1892
Call to Action
What is your testimony? When the door opens to a 1 Peter 3:15 or Matthew 10:18–20 experience, will you walk through it? Or will self get in the way, making you shy away from encouraging a soul by delivering God’s words?
Ask God for willingness to magnify His name in any situation He might place you. You may not have the words until the moment of delivery, but ask Him to prepare your heart.
All Scripture taken from the King James Version.