It's fascinating how God showers us with His providential care each day. I realized this again yesterday as I was riding around in a UPS package car.
Thursday was my second day working as a UPS "Driver Helper." I enjoyed my time with the first driver on Wednesday but was switched to a different driver for the second day. As I began to talk with this second driver, it became clear that he is a Christian. Not only that, he is a solid Christian who enjoys talking about the things of God.
When you work in a package car with someone there is quite a bit of time to talk between stops. This gave Neal (his name) and me several hours to talk about who God is, how wonderful He is, and what He is doing in our lives. As we discussed theology, I discovered that Neal is Reformed. This led to great discussions of God's sovereignty and providence. We also talked about many good authors past and present such as Augustine, Edwards, Packer, Sproul, Piper, etc.
At some point I asked what church family Neal is a part of. I'm always concerned about the answer because it tells a lot about what the person probably believes about the gospel. I was relieved and happy to find out that Neal is a part of Independent Presbyterian Church in Savannah. IPC is a biblically-sound church with a very high view of the majesty and sovereignty of God.
Since IPC follows a traditional church model, there are obviously aspects of church life where Neal and I most likely differ in opinion. I didn't see the point in pursuing that line of conversation yesterday. I did, however, explain to him my current situation. Instead of condemning the traditional church model, I simply told him that for reasons of conscience I needed to leave my pastoral position, get into the regular workforce, and begin gathering with other believers in our home as we see in scripture.
Neal and I were also able to share real prayer requests with one another. He has his struggles as I have mine. This went far beyond "Please pray for the missionaries" to real life issues.
The best part in all this is that we were able to build one another up in Christ. I'm reminded that edification takes place not just when the church gathers for a scheduled meeting, but at all times in all places. Ephesians 4:29 comes to mind, "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."
In a few hours I will get back in the package car for another round of deliveries. Neal and I will be together again today. I'm not sure what will happen, but I do know who the main topic of our conversation will be: our glorious Lord Jesus. Praise God for His providence!