I made a goal of riding 60 miles on my bike for my 60th birthday. So I picked out the morning where it was forecasted to have light winds and set off around the bike trail. I wasn’t feeling the best that morning, hadn’t ridden for over a week, and was starting to sort out which might be the best excuses for not completing my goal.
Early on in my ride, a pastor friend pulled alongside me. We rode together for a while and I said he could take off and ride ahead, I was pacing myself today. But he continued to ride with me and we had a great visit. Soon I realized that over twenty miles had vanished. I told him I think God put him in my path this morning.
My work hasn’t been perfect for the last couple weeks. Hard to explain right now. Today I met a friend for coffee and she gave me some very specific reasons she was proud to be my friend. Later I dropped by our church and one of the team said I was one of her favorite people. Now, we in the Midwest don’t accept compliments very readily and it’s even hard to write about the nice things they said. But I think God might have put these two in my path today.
Have you ever been in church and thought, did they clear out the congregation? I think the pastor wrote that sermon just for me. The others might as well have gone on home. Have you ever turned on the radio and heard a song that you needed that day? Read something in a book that should have been footnoted with “this was written just for you”? Gotten an unexpected visit or call from a trusted friend? The young man we’ve supported to become a doctor in Haiti often says, “God always puts someone in my way.”
I truly believe that God puts people in our way. Sometimes we drive around them, ignore them, or turn the other way. Sometimes we allow God to work through them and put a hand on us when we need it the most. Sometimes we realize it is our turn to get in someone else’s way, so we can be that hand.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10