I had something really remarkable happen a few weeks ago. I drive a medical shuttle all over the place. Anywhere between Buffalo and Binghamton, and I never know where I’m going to be from one day to the next. One day in early November, I was scheduled to be in Rochester all day. Now, this was the first time they ever scheduled me like this. In fact, I was not expecting to be in Rochester at all, let alone all day. I was expecting to be in Livingston and Steuben counties because, that’s what I had requested for the winter months, and they said that was certainly reasonable. But, like I said, I never know where I’m going to be. Usually, if I have to be in Rochester, I take a passenger up, wait for them, and drive them back home. But that day was unusual.
I drove a passenger up, then they gave me a lot of buzzing around the city to do. Now, there’s one passenger, whom I had met not far from here in Dundee. I haven’t seen him in months. He’s a Christian, and it turns out he’s living in a halfway house in the middle of the city. To you, it may not seem like much, but while he was living in this area, I had the opportunity to minister to him quite a lot. He’s been in a lot of rough situations lately. He was released from prison, hasn’t been able to find work, has had a lot of rejection as you can imagine, has had to move from his home in the country to a crowded halfway house in the middle of a noisy city with no money and no transportation, has had to deal with all sorts of rigamarole with social services, has had to put his mother in a nursing home and has had a hard time clinging to his faith.
He always texts me, asking when I’m going to pick him up again. Well, it was few and far between when he lived in Dundee because that’s out of my normal area, but when he moved to Rochester, I thought I’d never see him again because, like I said, it wasn’t my area. He just received word that our company wouldn’t take him anymore, and wouldn’t you know just a few days after that, I was assigned out of nowhere to pick him up?
Now, earlier on the same day, something else happened. Mind you, if it weren’t for a GPS, I wouldn’t know where I was or how to get around anywhere in the city. All these addresses I had that day were completely foreign to me. And I was assigned another gentleman whom I’ve never met, on a street I’ve never been on and was completely unaware where he lived and where I was. When I received his booking, I didn’t know if he lived in the middle of the city, on the outskirts, on the east side, on the west side, in the slums…I didn’t know where he was.
I was completely reliant on the GPS and doing what it told me to do, and turned when it said turn and go when it said to go. And as I’m turning the corner onto his street, just a few blocks from where he lived and wouldn’t you know I just happen to see someone I know who used to live in Dansville jogging along the sidewalk on the very same street this other man lived?
His name is Tony. And to make it all the more amazing, I didn’t know where in the city Tony had moved to. Tony also got out of jail not too long ago, and through someone who does jail ministry at our church, I was informed that Tony was living in Dansville, and if I wanted to, it might be good to try and reach out to him. So, I had gotten his contact information and invited him to our home Bible study group. This was about a year and a half ago.
About a year ago, he had moved up to the city and has had to deal with many similar issues of trying to get his feet back on the ground after being released from jail. He’s had issues getting permission to see his children, find a home, find a job, deal with social services, all of those things, and all the while, struggling to keep his faith alive. He and I have also texted and talked on the phone. But I had no idea where he lived. I didn’t know what street he lived on—I still don’t know. But what are the chances of the timing to be just so that after I turn the corner, Tony just happens to be jogging in that spot—not a mile down the road—and in a city of 200,000 people?
I don’t think that either of those incidences was random. I think that for some reason, The Holy Spirit was working. What was The Holy Spirit trying to say? I think what He was trying to say was this: that if He can make those things happen, those somewhat smaller things happen, then He can make anything happen. He can make the bigger things happen. On the right day, in the right place, in the right time. Even when we don’t think it will ever happen, even when we don’t see it coming, He can orchestrate all the pieces to make the timing happen just right.