I fingered impatiently with the folds of my dark green, flower-printed dress, looked at the interesting yellow lines criss-crossing the large room’s red carpet, and waited for the youth group to begin. I definitely was not the only one waiting. Many youth were waiting and talking all around the room, either standing or sitting like I was at white plastic tables. I had never seen that many youth in one place. As I sat with my sisters at our table and delightedly watched everyone around me, I wondered what special moments Yehovah might have in store for me there.
It was a hot June day in Florida. Outside the large window at the side of the room, palm fronds waved, reminding me of where I was and making me grateful that I was inside with the air conditioning. It was not only the first day of the Revive conference, but also the first day I had ever been able to go to a youth group.
“In case you didn’t know, we are now on Messianic Standard Time, so we are going to wait, as most of the people arrive fifteen minutes late,” said the youth teacher in his especially deep and booming voice that was a little intimidating to me. During those minutes of waiting, a girl entered the open double doors behind me and with a swift, graceful move, sat in the chair beside me. She had a sweet, youthful face, a smile both adventurous and shy, and a head covering decorated with a band of beads over her light brown hair. I gathered the courage to talk to her.
“You are Gabrielle?” I said, looking sideways at her name tag.
“Yes,” she answered quietly.
“I’m Faith,” I said. “It’s nice to meet you.” I introduced my sisters to her, but other than that we did not talk much.
Later, when the youth teacher mentioned Israel, Gabrielle said that she had lived in Israel for a year. I have a special place in my heart for Israel and had been learning Hebrew for years. As soon as the youth meeting was over, Gabrielle and I got to talk about it. We saw each other many times during the conference. When we left for our homes we exchanged contact information. We were able to continue that friendship that had started from the seemingly inconsequential act of picking a seat.
As our friendship grows deeper, I marvel at how the Father knew of both of us and decided that we ought to meet and be friends. Friendship is a great blessing, and truly life-changing. It is curious to see how something that special can come from something as simple as picking a seat. It makes me wonder what other people the Father wants to put in my path, and what seemingly trivial way He might use to make us meet. We can never know when we will encounter a “divine appointment,” but Yehovah does. It was not just coincidence that guided our steps that day in June, for “the steps of a righteous man are ordered by Yehovah” and “every good and every perfect gift is from above.”