I heard my cell phone ringing last week, but the number I didn't recognize. Normally I am not going to answer when the called I.D. is not known to me, but this time I did. It sounded like an older man and he obviously dialed or keyed in the 'wrong' number. I explained that he had the wrong number and went on with doing my activities.
A couple of years ago, I would have jumped on a situation like that and would have tried to draw the man out explaining that there are no 'accidents' with God, but I am really pressed for time right now and am not in a place where I can really talk to someone about the Gospel when the phone rings. Of course, I have to be careful how I word my sentences, as it could come across as a 'Divine appointment' which would mean one thing to me, but quite another to a man.
I thought about the call later on in the day. There wasn't anything I could do about it though. Maybe I could have called him back, but that would have been really awkward.
I was praying yesterday morning for God to provide opportunities for me and others in the church to speak the words of life to those He would arrange for us to talk to. As I was praying, I was thinking to myself, 'What am I praying? Will I be ready and do I have time to talk to people about the Gospel?' I would have time if I weren't at home doing homework and housework. It would be interesting to see how God will work this out in our lives. I was also thinking about the phone call and if this person were to ever call back (not sure why since he knew my number wasn't what he was looking for) I made the decision to share the Gospel with him.
We meet once a month to feed the homeless and lo and behold, while on the way to the location, my phone rings. I don't have to pick it up while driving, but just have to click the thing with the phone icon. It was the same unrecognizable number I saw a week before. I answered, and it was the same man. Because I was driving, I really couldn't talk with anyone about anything in depth, so I told him again that he had the wrong number. It is hard to concentrate on driving and talking at the same time, at least for me it is. After I hung up the phone, I realized I should have talked to him about the Gospel, but failed once again to take advantage of an opportunity that came my way. Plus, I wasn't at home, so I would have had the time to talk. As I was pondering this, I thought to myself, if he calls back again, I will share the Gospel. I will trust God to help me drive, and to ask the right questions at the proper time. Why would he call back though? He knows that this is not the number he is looking for. If he did call back, I was pretty sure it would be God wanting me to share with him. The phone did ring one more time and it was his number. This time, I picked up the phone with the knowledge that I would be talking with him about the Gospel. He was very open to talking and I asked the questions well after we were involved in a good conversation, so it didn't seem so strange to stick the Gospel in there somewhere.
The conversation lasted about 40 minutes and I was late getting into the location, or rather, getting out of my car, for I talked with him for a half an hour while I was parked. I also told him that I believe God wanted me to share this with him and that there are no 'accidents' with God. He saw it that way too. He was appreciative of hearing the Gospel, although I am not sure how much he grasped. He was struggling, like so many military veterans, with guilt about some things he was required to do while in combat. Please pray for this man. His initials are R.B.