Today is my wife’s birthday. She and I have been married almost 26 years, and I can’t imagine life and ministry without her. As I celebrate her life today, I’m reminded that relationships don’t happen by accident. God unites our lives through what I’ve labeled, “divine intersections” –connections that we can explain only through God. Think about your own intersections as you read about some that come to mind for me.
- Randy Richards, the 7th grader who led me to the Lord – Our family moved to our new city just months before I met him, and I was an angry, rebellious middle schooler who didn’t want to leave his friends. Little did I know that God would meet me through my new friend.
- The Gilberts and the Cutshaws, my Baptist next-door neighbors – Only God knew how important it was that my parents bought a home beside a Baptist deacon on one side and a Baptist church secretary on the other. None of that was by coincidence.
- Don Betts, my associate pastor/youth minister – He was the first to seriously challenge me to follow my calling, and he later invited me to preach at his own first church when he started pastoring. Several years later, I started my own pastoral ministry at that same church in Harrison, Ohio.
- Paul Gillespie, my first deacon and his family at that church – Not only did his family stand beside me, but his wife also later introduced me to her cousin, whose church was seeking a preacher for their upcoming youth revival. I led that revival – and months later became the pastor of that church, where I stayed for the next eleven years.
- Linda Ensor, my secretary at that second church – Actually, she was that cousin to whom I’d been introduced. And, she and another church secretary were the two who later “set up” the opportunity for me to meet Pam.
And so, God gave me a wife – a woman whose heart already beat with missions long before I met her, whose patience with people far exceeds mine in ministry, whose strength and independence serve us well with my busy schedule, whose trustworthy heart is uncompromising, and whose gentle, kind spirit just exudes the Spirit of God.
Divine intersections. They’re a gift of the Father.
Thank God for yours today.