Some days do not go as I plan. Nowhere on my calendar did a call with my Coptic friend appear. Nor had I scheduled time with an Assyrian American Christian seeking to provide aid for Iraqi Christians now living in refugee camps in foreign lands. Praying with a Pakistani Christian about the bombing of churches there was not on my agenda. Nor was time with a Arab church planter committed to God’s calling to build a church in the Arab quarter of Jerusalem. My calendar reflected none of these appointments – but each and all of them had been set by God who is sovereign over all time and all things.
What does a life structured to accommodate the divine appointments of the Lord look like? It is a life that expects always the unexpected, anticipates miracles and knows that God will provide all the time and resources necessary for the accomplishing of His will today. Now, that does not mean that everything on “my” list always gets done. But the priority remains discerning and responding to the Lord’s agenda, not obsessing about my own stuff.
Had I only taken the calls scheduled I would have never spoken to Nader. Had I only answered the emails on my agenda I would have never helped Juliana. Had I blocked all calls from unknown numbers I would have never prayed with the representative from the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan who feels bereft of hope in the face of continual persecution of Christian minorities in that country. Had I stuck to my plan for the day I would have missed the opportunity to hear about the growth of the Church and the spread of the gospel in Iran; the challenges of planting a church in the Arab quarter of Jerusalem with the goal of winning Muslims to Christ; the invitation to assist my Christian brothers and sisters who have nothing and no home to return to as ISIL continues its scourge of Iraq and the Levant.
I didn’t get my taxes filed. I didn’t get my nails done. I didn’t pick up my dry cleaning. I didn’t get to the grocery. But I didn’t miss any of the divine appointments God set for the day.
I’m a list maker and I like to check things off the list. So today as I peruse the list which now contains several carry-over items from yesterday, I pray. “Lord, use me for your purposes and make me anxious for nothing other than your perfect plans.”
There is enough time to do all that God has planned. May your day be populated with the divine appointments He has set and may you find joy in keeping each one – fully present in the moment as an agent of God’s grace in the world that He so loves.