READING: Job 17-19, Acts 10:1-23
“Now send men to Joppa and call for Simon, who is also named Peter.”
Little did they know that their lives would cross in such a way that all of history would change. One was Cornelius, a devout man who feared God, gave alms, and prayed regularly. An angel – a messenger from God – caught his attention one day by calling his name, speaking to him, and telling him to send for “Simon, who is also named Peter” (Acts 10:5). The directions were specific enough to tell Cornelius exactly where Peter was staying – at the home of Simon, a tanner, whose house was beside the sea. Cornelius quickly sent some of his servants to find Peter.
Meanwhile, God was working miraculously in Peter’s life as well. In a time of prayer, the apostle saw something like a sheet coming down from heaven. He heard a voice three times commanding him to eat all that was on the sheet, including what Peter considered unclean. He stood perplexed by the vision, only to be interrupted by the Spirit of God’s telling him, “Three men are here looking for you. Get up, go downstairs, and accompany them with no doubts at all, because I have sent them” (Acts 10:19-20). Cornelius had indeed been “divinely directed by a holy angel to call [Peter] to his house and to hear a message from [him]” (Acts 10:22). While today’s reading does not yet reveal the message Peter had, we get the sense that something significant is about to happen. After all, God had worked in mighty and miraculous ways in both their lives to connect these men.
None of us can speak of such wondrous events to crisscross our lives with others, but our life intersections are no less miraculous. I think about the relationships in my life, and I cannot ignore God’s hand. I think of the teen friend whose family moved to my home church after their pastor retired, the associate pastor who invited me to preach later in his own church, the deacon I met when I led a youth revival at a local church, the missionary I first encountered in the middle of South Asia, the professor/dean whose path I crossed at a Billy Graham conference, and the young lady – now my wife – I met when two church secretaries “fixed us up.” I cannot forget my student’s dad who later became my student himself, followed years later as my boss, and whom I now consider a mentor and friend. Nor can I overlook my professor who became my colleague and then my boss today. My stories could fill a book, and yours could, too. The theme is the same in all our stories, though: God connects us with people, and none of it happens by accident. The interactions may not involve angels and visions and voices, but they are nevertheless God-orchestrated.
And, that’s an amazing gift.
- Meditate on the ways God has connected you to others.
- Thank God for the gift of persons He has placed in your life.
PRAYER: “God, I praise You for the way You orchestrate the intersection of lives. Thank You for my family and friends.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Job 20-21, Acts 10:24-48