• Julie Osborne

Unexpected Encounter


God's Message

It’s my favorite time of the week — Tuesday nights. At 6:55 I unlock my front door, and over the next few minutes my doorbell chime sings. The sound makes me smile. The amazing women who walk through the door are the reason.

A year ago we were strangers. Now I have more than 30 new friends connected through our church’s recently launched satellite location in Carmel, Traders Point North. As we assemble in my kitchen before breaking into small groups, we mingle, brew a cup of coffee, and nibble on homemade snacks, all the while catching up on our week. My goal is to provide a comfortable atmosphere, for women to come as they are — sometimes I even greet them wearing my robe and slippers! We share our lives, mission projects, prayers, and then dig into the previous weekend’s sermon. God shows up in unexpected ways, and this week He made an unlikely appearance.

Our discussion this week was called “God, We Need You” from the Book of Daniel. Questions ranged from the benefits of taking time to reflect back on what God has already done in our lives to the importance of sharing each other’s burdens. Daniel was our model and hero as he not only lived to tell about surviving the lion’s den, but remained firm in his convictions and beliefs despite being in exile in Babylon for over 70 years. He also stood in the gap for his people, praying and confessing sins he did not commit. Daniel was a team player even in his captivity. Our discussion was packed with insight and meaningful conversation, but then suddenly it was interrupted.

As darkness settled over us in the backyard and cell phone flashlights became a necessity, I noticed something moving under a chair that startled us and caused an immediate halt to our discussion. Not a mouse, chipmunk, nor squirrel, it was a frog. Normally, we would have brushed off the distraction, but not this time. Just before its appearance we had been reviewing Daniel’s model for prayer and how it was similar to the acronym ACTS which stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. Group member Sheri also mentioned another acronym, FROG, which means Fully Rely On God. Then, within minutes, our new friend arrived.

Some people might call this a “coincidence,” but we all knew it was something more. What are the chances a frog would pop up out of nowhere just after a group member mentioned the word? Since moving into my home five years ago I have never seen a frog in my backyard and couldn’t find it the next day despite searching my flower beds, window wells, and bushes.

Sometimes God makes himself known in unexpected ways but always with perfect timing to remind us of His presence and message — “Rely on me.” Once in a while He just makes it a little more obvious.

“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matthew 18:20)


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Meet Author Julie Osborne