There are so many ways that people meet and become acquainted. Some meet on the train. They wait for the same train at the same spot daily and one day they generate a conversation. Pretty soon, they sit together and a relationship develops. It could be a relationship that is confined to the commute.
Sometimes people met on the job. I can talk about working in a school because that is what I know. When you work on the same grade, you develop a bond. That teacher in the classroom next door is a resource in your life and you are a resource in hers. If you go to the store and you see something that would help you in the classroom, you would buy two. Your resource next door will do the same.
There are so many ways people become friends. Sometimes, the people you meet have a significance that is not long lasting. That would be the person you meet in the supermarket. The checkout line is a place many struggling people find help. They come to the register and they have difficulty deciding what to take with them and which items to leave. They need everything but could only pay for about two-thirds of their shopping. There are more kind people in the world than you realize. Many people in this situation have been blessed by the kindness of a stranger.
Have you ever considered the circumstances that led you to the people who have impacted your life? Well in Acts 16, Paul and Silas, meet two people whose lives were changed. Verse 16 says, “One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit that enabled her to tell the future. She earned a lot of money for her masters by telling fortunes.“ So her employers had a little gold mine in this girl. People always want to know what will happen before it does. And they were willing to pay for the privilege.
When she saw Paul and Silas, she followed them saying, ““These men are servants of the Most High God, and they have come to tell you how to be saved.”(Verse 17). The spirit within her kept repeating this. “This went on day after day until Paul got so exasperated that he turned and said to the demon within her, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And instantly it left her.” (Verse 18).
Her employers became very angry when they realized that their cash flow by the spirit in the girl came to an end. They grabbed them and took them before the authorities and accused them of teaching illegal customs. They were severely beaten and thrown into prison. Just imagine, they were restrained twice from going in another place to proclaim the gospel by the Holy Spirit. Some would have been angry; some would complain; Paul and Silas had a different response. Verse 25 says, “Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.”
There is no mention of what the prisoners thought about these two men. But their singing caused change to come in to their situation. You see as they sang, a great earthquake shook the prison. It was so strong, that all the prisoners chains fell off. The jailor was asleep and woke up to open prison doors. Thinking that all the prisoners had escaped, he raised his sword to kill himself. “But Paul shouted to him, “Stop! Don’t kill yourself! We are all here!”
The jailor realized that it was no ordinary earthquake and Paul and Silas were not ordinary men. He concluded that were servants of God. Verses 30-31 says, “Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, along with everyone in your household.” Paul and Silas had no idea what would happen to them in prison. However, they knew that anytime is a good time to give God thanks.:30-31
A seemingly chance meeting made a huge difference in the lives of the young girl and the jailor. But their meeting was ordained by God. Every person who walks into your life comes with purpose. You need the Holy Spirit to lead you to identify that purpose. Before they arrived, they were unaware that a young girl needed deliverance and the jailor needed salvation. When the Holy Spirit leads, you meet people not by chance but by divine design