“Who is this?” When I read the text from my friend I thought…”What?” First. I hadn’t sent her a text. Second, I knew she had my number in her phone. We text all the time. So, I texted her back and said, “It’s Sherry. Did you get a text from me?”
It was strange, very strange. I really can’t explain it, but she received a text from someone and when she replied to ask who it was, the text went to me! I knew my phone had been acting crazy but this was getting really crazy! Thankfully, I had made a one-on-one appointment with Apple.
I just have to give you a little background. Ever since December 22, when I received an unexpected call from a young woman, my iPhone has been acting up. The day she called we ended our hour and a half conversation with her praying to receive Christ. Since then, my phone has been freezing or vibrating for no reason for 10 minutes at a time. It has been going black then coming back on. I would send a text to someone and they would get it….but if you looked at my phone after the sent text….it wouldn’t show that I had texted the person at all! Really strange.
I knew there was a problem and I knew I needed help from Apple, not Verizon, so I booked an appointment. I went to the store the day before the scheduled appointment to see if they could see me earlier and the guy told me I didn’t need a one-on-one appointment but that I needed a genius bar appointment. So, he made one for me the next day which meant waiting an extra day. He suggested that I cancel my one-on-one.
When I got home I went back to my computer and tried to cancel the one-on-one. I could not get the appointment to cancel!! I have never had that happen. I tried repeatedly to click the button and it did nothing. So the next day, hours before the appointment, I went to the Apple store and waited in line to tell them to cancel the one-on-one appointment. This time I talked with a lady who told me to keep the appointment often times that person could indeed help. So, I left to return an hour later for the appointment.
As I walked out of the store to get lunch I did think to myself, “Well God, You must intend for me to have this “one-on-one” because I have tried to cancel it three times, even to the point of making a special trip to the mall to cancel!” I concluded in my mind that my phone would be fixed in the “one-on-one” and I would be able to cancel the “genius bar” appointment scheduled for the next day!
An hour later, and back at Apple, a young man showed up, introduced himself and asked, “What can I teach you today about your iPhone?” I proceeded to tell him what had been going on and halfway apologized to him about our session, knowing he was not supposed to be “fixing” my phone. He smiled, asked for my phone, grabbed two stools and we sat down.
The first thing he wanted to do was save everything on my phone so he plugged it into my laptop to start saving my pictures. This is when the story gets really good. As my pictures started popping up on my laptop, many pictures of IV and his new brother, Hank, started popping up, and the Apple guy would smile. I told him about our friends and how I loved their kids and sometimes watched them for the parents. As my computer was backing up my phone, saving 2000 pictures, he pulled out his phone and showed me a picture of his children and his wife. As we talked and I continued to ask questions, it all made sense to me. Bells and whistles were going off in my head! A DIVINE APPOINTMENT!!
Seriously…I know sometimes these posts are long but…I have to tell this story! He shared his personal story. He hardly gets to see his wife because of conflicting work schedules. As he shared, he told me that his wife had asked for a divorce and, in the next day or two, he was supposed to sign papers on an apartment. I asked him a lot of questions…but most importantly, I asked him if he knew Jesus. He did and had recently gone back to church for the first time in a long time.
He even looked up the name of the church to show me. I wanted to make sure it was a Bible teaching, Jesus loving church. We talked for an hour while he was restoring my phone. I am not sure where his marriage is going to end up but I know God sent me there to encourage him and offer him sound, biblical advice and even a really good book…that I thought would help him. I encouraged him to fight for his marriage, to go to counseling. I also encouraged him to find an older adult male mentor in the church he had just started attending. I took his card and committed to pray for him.
We, on the spot, became friends and I introduced him to Back 9! God is great…He is great all the time. I love understanding how God…may or may not have frozen my phone. It could have been the enemy, regardless….God allowed it to happen. He knew what He had planned for me–a divine appointment with a stranger, now a friend!
My friends, God holds the world in place. When I walked out of the store …..I felt like I had an encounter similar to the one Jesus had with the “woman at the well”. I had the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Proverbs 25:25, “Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.” I felt I brought good news to a thirsty soul.
God continues to chart my steps…even when I least expect the ministry opportunities. I am just thankful He has shown me the need to get up early in the morning and spend time with Him so that I am full of HIM when those opportunities come…so that I can give people Jesus and not me or my agenda!
Most of us want our appointments or opportunities nicely packaged and presented as a gift that we simply have to unwrap. We don’t realize sometimes opportunities come disguised as problems that cause heartache or major frustration (like I experienced with my phone). I had to wait over a week to get solutions…and the whole problem still isn’t solved. But what I have discovered at 52 is that every day is filled with God-ordained opportunities that typically present themselves at the most inopportune time in the most inopportune place.
I encourage you today. God has those appointments for you….God appointments for you to share, encourage and minister to hurting people. Pray for those opportunities today! Start 2015 off with the mindset of knowing that you can be the “hands” and “feet” of Jesus.
Galatians 6:9-10, “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Side note: I am headed back to the Apple store….to keep my genius bar appointment. My phone isn’t 100%. I wonder if it is another divine appointment? I will keep you posted.