Jennifer Slattery Christian Blog and Commentary

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Becoming Alert to Divine Appointments

We are never unseen, insignificant, or an afterthought.

I was a young mom who spent most of my time surrounded by children. I didn’t have much influence. People weren’t clamoring to hear what I had to say. In fact, most often, it felt as if my words were tuned out, lost among the cartoons, whining, and temper tantrums that come with parenting.

In the grand, cosmic scheme of things, it would’ve been easy to feel insignificant. Honestly, there were moments when I did. When I allowed myself to get so wrapped up in my small world, everything else slipped my notice.

The more I allowed self-centeredness to narrow my view, the more miserable I became. Until one day I happened upon a little book titled the Prayer of Jabez. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It took the Christian world by storm in 2006, as I was just beginning to grow in my relationship with Christ. This book, or rather, what God did through it, stirred within me a passion to live on mission for Him.

There wasn’t anything magical about that book, though it was well-written (although largely speculative). And honestly, there wasn’t anything special about the prayer the book was based on. But through the book, God challenged me to shift my focus. Through words spoken by an ancient man briefly mentioned among a long list of descendants, God awaked my eyes to notice. To be alert and ready for whatever God might want to do through me each day.

In other words, God awakened my heart to watch out for God moments. And as I went about my day, alert, the most amazing things happened. I encountered people with questions, concerns, and prayer requests. It seemed, the moment I began to pray this prayer, that God would expand my territory, He opened up His divine appointment book and sent me on mission.

Whether God was bringing people into my path because I was alert or those people—those divine opportunities—had been there all along but I’d been to preoccupied with self to notice doesn’t matter. God challenged me to view every day through a gospel-shaped, image-bearer, purpose-filled lens knowing God created me for a purpose and with a purpose.

The next time I begin to feel unnoticed, or have grown bored with the monotony of life, may I look up, then  around, and be ready to be used by God whenever and however He desires. I believe that is when we begin to experience the exciting, empowered, abundant life Christ promised.

What about you? Do you have any similar stories to share? Perhaps of times when you felt God prodding you to be more alert to those around you? Did you find yourself landing in any divine appointments? Like me, do you have a tendency to get so caught up in yourself—your worries, to-do lists, calculating how many pieces of chocolate you can have before someone deems you a glutton—that you perhaps miss out on being part of the miraculous?

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