Shortcut (1 Samuel 9:15-16)

“This is our freshman fellowship group!”


Three colorful photographs arrived in my email with this description. I quickly spied my daughter’s smiling face amongst the dozens of other college students. She was sharing an update from her college Christian fellowship group’s early Thanksgiving dinner. She was clearly enjoying herself and making new friends but just a few weeks earlier, she was still searching for a place on or near campus where she could meet and worship with other Christians. One evening, she excitedly called me with news about this group. 


“How did you meet this group?” I asked her at the time.


“It was by chance. Instead of the usual path to my classes, I took a shortcut. As I was walking, I met another student who was handing out flyers to their Christian fellowship group and they invited me to join. Dad! They meet at 2 PM on Sunday afternoons!”


Great! Perfect time for a weekly church service for sleep-deprived college students! I was excited to hear her share about her recent encounter. “Have you made any friends?”


“I met this woman who is one of the leaders. She’s married and lives a block away from campus. She has been texting and encouraging me and we’ve had some meetings at her home. She’s really nice.”


For over a year beginning in her senior year in high school, I had been praying that when my daughter begins college, God would lead her to a Bible-believing Christian fellowship and meet another Christian sister who would be a friend and mentor to her on the college campus. In a dramatic fashion, God was answering both prayers. All it took was a shortcut to lead to a chance meeting. 


Thousands of years earlier, a young man named Saul was searching for his father’s lost donkeys. He wandered for several days, with no direction, hopeful that he would somehow find the missing animals. Unknownst to him, God had prepared a greater purpose for his seemingly aimless journey.


Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed to Samuel: “Tomorrow about this time I will send to you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over my people Israel. He shall save my people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have seen my people, because their cry has come to me.”

1 Samuel 9:15-16 (ESV)


God directed Saul to meet the Prophet Samuel whom God had chosen to anoint Saul as Israel’s first king. Saul wandered aimlessly searching for his father’s lost donkeys. My daughter took a different route to her classes. Both met God and were blessed. Chance meeting? Coincidence?


With God, there are no chance meetings or coincidences. There are only divine appointments orchestrated by His Providence! God loves to bless His children by drawing them closer to Him through unexpected circumstances. 




Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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