February 17, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) — As a Christian Pastor I am continually urging people to follow the Lord Jesus, read his Word, reach out to others and to expect “divine appointments.” Sometimes the “divine appointments” appear on the spur of the moment and we have to choose whether to take advantage of them or pass them by.
Twenty-three years ago, on Sanctity of Life Sunday, I had the opportunity to preach on the issue of human life and its biblical value. The first service and second went as planned. One more, the largest, to go and I could go home and relax. Two thirds of the way through the message a thought came into my head about how we were training our three teenage sons to view women, marriage, life, and love. While not in my notes I thought “Why not?” and spontaneously added it to the sermon.
I told the congregation that my wife and I had recently spoken to our three sons about these issues. We reminded them that Jesus designed sex for marriage. However, understanding sinful human nature, we also told them that if they sinned and violated the Lord’s will they were still responsible to that young woman and if she became pregnant they were responsible financially, emotionally, and spiritually for that unborn life. In fact, if a young woman became pregnant by their behavior and she chose not to keep or raise that child we would adopt that child and raise them in our family. We further reminded them that abortion was not the will of the Lord and that they had a responsibility to guide that young woman to choose life not death.
The service ended, people filed out with the traditional “thank you’s”, “great message pastor” statements. I went home and took a nap.
Two years later it was another life Sunday. I again preached about the sanctity of life and the will of the Lord Jesus. When the service ended a woman in the congregation rushed up to talk to me. In her arms was a beautiful eighteen-month old little girl. Dark eyes, curly hair and a beautiful smile. She literally thrust the little baby into my arms and said, “This is your baby pastor.”
“Excuse me,” I stammered, “what do you mean she is my baby?” I was red faced and the grandmother was flushed with excitement.
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“Two years ago today our oldest and most challenging son came to church with us,” she said. “He had not been in church in years but felt he needed to come that Sunday.” What she said next was overwhelming and exciting. “My son and his girlfriend had discovered that she was pregnant and had arranged for an abortion the day after that Sunday. He came to church to ease his conscience,” she shared. “He never bargained for what you were going to say. He came under such deep conviction that abortion was wrong, that he was failing his responsibilities, so he immediately went to his pregnant girlfriend, told her what you said, and convinced her to cancel the abortion.”
She then spoke to the depth of my soul. “Pastor, the little girl you hold is the very baby that would have been aborted if my son had not heard that message.” Needless to say I was stunned, humbled beyond words, and overwhelmed by that experience.
Fast forward twenty-two years. My wife and I had been asked to have dinner with another couple at a major restaurant. As we are eating dinner this same grandmother walks in with a handsome young couple who are obviously deeply in love. Recognizing her, Jan and I went over to their table to greet her. After the usual greetings, she said, “Pastor, this is my granddaughter and her fiancé.” We shook hands, I stated that it was nice to meet them and as I was preparing to return to my table this grandmother grabbed my hand and looked me square in the face with a giant smile. “Oh, you have met her before when she was just eighteen months old on a Life Sunday.”
It suddenly dawned on me that this beautiful young woman, who was planning her new life with her fiancé, was in fact the very same one who had been scheduled for an abortion twenty-two years previously except for the intervention of the Lord Jesus. It was one of the most powerful moments of my life and ministry.
Most of us have many “divine appointments” in life. You may never realize that what you say today, how you stand up for the truth in the present, or how you choose to honor life will impact another person or another generation. Sometimes that inner push, inner voice of the Lord can change the course of history if we listen and speak out.