Surprise! God-incidence

Seen on All God’s People, Written By Julia Pferdehirt

Dear sisters,

A friend once said a new word – God-incidence. Not a chance occurrence. Not “good luck” or even a random act of beauty (and I love random acts of beauty). But one of those God-acts that catches us by surprise. Something we see His hand all over – but usually after the fact.

I had a God-incidence recently. Someone from Care Net (a ministry to people seeking healing from abortion experiences) called my church’s office looking for help last fall. Care Net runs a periodic bible study called Forgiven and Set Free (tuck that bit of information away). At the end of the study, they always invite a pastor to come and read some scripture, say a “few words” and close in prayer.

Now, we’ve all seen pastors do this (maybe or maybe not with “few” words). The Care Net folks wondered if Faith Community’s pastor could come. But, we don’t have a pastor. Our church is team-led.

Enter the God-incidence. The person who answered the church phone ran upstairs where I was just finishing a meeting. He said, “there’s somebody on the phone and it sounds like you’re the person they’re looking for”.

I picked up the phone. Would I come and do this ‘pastor’ thing? I would. In fact, tears came.

I had just completed a journey of self-examination using The Path, a book by Laurie Beth Jones designed to help you discover and put words to a “personal mission statement”. I’d been asking God to show me His purpose and calling for me. I’d asked Jesus to “name” me with His name for me.

The book posed a series of exercises, readings, questions, and both prayer and personal journals leading to a “personal mission statement”. The result of mine was “through teaching, encouragement, mentoring, and prayer, offer the healing and wholeness of Jesus to women”.

So, armed with an official-sounding personal mission statement, I went out into the world (or at least to another church meeting.) Then, Care Net calls.

I ended up doing the “pastor thing” at the Forgiven and Set Free Bible study. Holy Spirit showed me that the women and men needed to be cleansed and blessed. He led me to anoint their minds, hearts and hands with oil, saying “renewed mind, cleansed heart, hand freed to reach out to others”. I was afraid people would be offended – knowing what seems normal to me may seem strange or uncomfortable to others. But they weren’t. It was beautiful. I was blessed. So were they.

God-incidence!

This week I had the privilege of doing the “pastor thing” again at the most recent Forgiven and Set Free study. God kept speaking to me about identity. Saying, forgiveness isn’t just something that happens related to a specific sin or problem – in Jesus, forgiveness is who you ARE. Who He makes you by His blood shed for you. You just don’t receive forgiveness, you ARE forgiven.

Holy Spirit showed me a sheer, white scarf I’d been given. I was to cover these women and men with this symbol of purity and speak a “new name” – Forgiven.

Again, I was afraid people might be offended. I was afraid they’d be expecting a “pastor” and they’d get me instead. I forgot how God had set this whole thing up a year earlier.

But, my fears were groundless. God-incidence flowed. Nobody seemed to think the “scarf thing” was strange. I was delightfully surprised and blessed. I hope the women and men were as well.

So, sisters. Please tuck the information about the Forgiven and Set Free study in your toolbox. You’ll meet someone who needs to search through God’s word to be led to and assured of forgiveness in Jesus.

And, keep your eyes open and your wits about you. God-incidents are everywhere, just waiting for YOU.

Love, Julia

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Links: