Keeping divine appointments
I stood on a Pacific Ocean pier, fishing rod in hand,
watching the waves lap gently at the pylons. Gulls were catching wind currents
as terns nose-dived into the surf for small fish.
I was in my own world. I had intentionally chosen a portion
of the pier devoid of other anglers. I wanted time alone.
And then I saw him coming. How could you miss the
red-checked sports jacket and patent leather shoes?
I hope he keeps walking, I thought.
And then I had another thought — one that wasn’t mine:
Witness to him.
I selfishly resisted, and the walking fashion disaster moved
Alone again, I thought.
Several minutes later, as I leaned on the railing, I caught
a glimpse of red out of the corner of my eye. I turned, and there he stood,
patent leather shoes glistening in the sunlight.
“Having any luck?” he asked.
“Not much,” I replied, my mind racing through conviction,
repentance and prayer for direction. When I was selfishly disobedient, God
didn’t let me off the hook. I knew this was a divine appointment. When I
obeyed, I found a broken man who desperately needed someone to tell him there
And so I did. Before he left we exchanged addresses, and I
put my hand on his shoulder and prayed with him.
He was wiping away tears as he walked away, then turned back
and said, “Thank you.”
I learned several lessons that day three decades ago:
• The most important fishing is
fishing for people.
• Our problems never outweigh the
needs of the spiritually lost.
• The Holy Spirit directs believers. We must obey.
• Our spirits must always be
ready to respond.
The most effective way I know to witness is this: Know the
plan of salvation; be Spirit-filled, prayed up and ready to witness; look for
Do this, and the Holy Spirit will bring divine appointments
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