According to Webster’s Dictionary the word “providence” refers to the act of providing or preparing for future use or application. It also means foresight; timely care; particularly, active foresight, or foresight accompanied with the procurement of what is necessary for future use, or with suitable preparation. In theology, it refers to the care and superintendence which God exercises over his creatures.
Just the other day I got to enjoy once more a “providential moment” of the Lord. My brother and I were on our way to church and, as usual, we were using the train. We arrived at our stop and got off. As we were leaving the station we happened to pass a coffee shop. My brother offered to buy me a coffee so in we went. It was early Sunday morning so there were very few people about. Not only that, but apart from the girl behind the counter, my brother and I were the only ones to be in the coffee shop. We proceeded to place our orders. Ever the opportunist, I slipped a million pound gospel tract to my brother. “Ask her for change,” I said, grinning broadly. He grinned back. Our hearts were set on evangelism but we knew that potentially we were going to have some fun as well.
As my brother went to pay for our coffees he handed the girl the million pound gospel note. “I’m rich!” she exclaimed. I could see it had made her smile. (Observation is important; not everyone is amused by it.) I waited to see if my brother was going to witness to her more directly. He did not, so I took the opportunity. I found her to be quite open, although being Romanian there was a slight language barrier. Still, she spoke very good English. Much better than my Romanian!!
It was a fun witness encounter. I tried to use as much humour as I could. With a stern and serious look I said to her, “You know, when you’re dead, you’re dead for a long time! This is important stuff!” That made her laugh. Because I was loaded with tracts I was able to hand her the coin tract that has the Ten Commandments on it. Being able to visually show her the Ten Commandments was a huge blessing as it added that much more to the impact of what I was telling her. By the time I was finished she also had the comic tract (which is simply brilliant because the entire gospel is so well laid out), as well as my “business card.” My church’s website is on it and when she saw that she enquired about it. I told her the church was in the area and not far away. I could see that she did have some religious background (most likely Catholic). Unfortunately time did not allow me a sufficient amount of time with her but I left thanking and praising God for the opportunity.
As I was turning to leave I was greeted by a young man who simply said, “Hey, I liked your message.” As it turned out he was a Christian. It must have looked to the girl like we were all together! It was a real blessing to meet another believer in the Lord, specifically when it meant the person I was witnessing to got to see how two Christians who are complete strangers instantly share a common bond through Christ. That in and of itself is a powerful witness.
I may not have been able to share the entire gospel with her but I got to leave three tracts with her, as well as my contact details, along with details of my church. There should also be an opportunity for me to meet up with her again fairly soon, God willing. All in all, a very productive and worthwhile witnesses encounter. And to think that if we had not stopped to get a coffee this witness encounter would never have happened. God is most certainly always in control.