I had many divine appointments on the train ride from Canada, where I spoke at Doreen Penner’s women’s conference. I wondered if one was an angel. This is part 4 of my Canada Trip Blog Series. You can read Part 3 here.
Canada Trip, Part 4: Sometimes we entertain angels unawares
Why I thought he might be an angel
This man went on every train that I went on, from Winnepeg to Vancouver, Vancouver to Seattle, Seattle to Chicago, and Chicago to Kansas City. He said he was with me “to the end.” Despite his appearance, I actually began to feel safer with him there because I was traveling alone as a woman in a foreign country. On one train, some young guys in the seats in back of me started getting drunk and cussing loudly about the things they didn’t like on the train. This man moved his and my stuff toward the front of the cab to get away from them, and then informed the cab attendant.
He also had memorized well over 150 Bible verses. Scriptures began flowing out of this man as he talked with me, that exactly pertained to my life. The Scriptures he shared with me, which he encouraged me to memorize, were:
- Romans 12:1-3 (offer your body as a living sacrifice to God)
- Joshua 1:8 (meditate on the Bible day and night & obey it to prosper)
- Mark 11:23-24 (speak in faith to the mountain and tell it to move)
- Hebrews 4:12 (the Word of God is a sharp, two-edged sword)
Another reason I thought he might be an angel was because he kept giving me directional tips for wherever I was going. Maybe he had just ridden the trains on these routes before, and knew what to expect and what to do. But he gave me extremely helpful advice that I needed, which I would not have known otherwise, like:
- When I arrived in Vancouver, take the bus to get to my hotel downtown, instead of a cab. Cab fares would rob me; the bus was only $2.50 and would get me to my hotel safely. How did he know the bus stop was close to my hotel?
- When I arrived in Vancouver, I could buy groceries at the produce market across from the bus stop near my hotel. How did he know there was a produce market there by my hotel?
- Buy plenty of groceries for my 3-day train ride to Chicago because it was a long ride and dining on the train is expensive ($15 to $28 per meal).
- Watch for the Pyramid Waterfalls on the train trip to Vancouver. How did he know I love waterfalls? He showed me exactly where they were so I would not miss them!
- He encouraged me to check in my 2nd bag before I went on the train to Chicago. He said the extra weight would hinder me from where I needed to go. He was exactly right, because in Chicago, I had to walk several blocks to get to the subway station (going downstairs and upstairs) and then walk to get to my hotel. I had tried to pack light for my trip, but thank God I didn’t have all that luggage!
- At the train station waiting for the train to Chicago, he suddenly began to SING Zephaniah 3:17 to me, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” This is the exact verse that I shared at the women’s retreat in Canada (he was not there and I hadn’t told him about it!)
- When I was on the train to Chicago, I only had $2 American dollars with me. The rest of my money was in Canadian money, because the bank in Seattle said they could not exchange my Canadian dollars. On the train as I talked with him about arriving in Chicago and needing to exchange my money there, the “angel” told me to have faith and trust God. Later as we arrived closer to Chicago, he exchanged his $20 American dollars for my $20 Canadian dollars. With this money, I was able to take the subway in Chicago, as well as get dinner. If it hadn’t been for him, I wouldn’t have been able to eat supper -and I was SO hungry! (I was waiting on some money to transfer to our checking account at home, so I wasn’t able to use my debit card while traveling!)
- The Canadian border police made me throw away the bananas I had just bought for food, except for one banana. This man asked me to watch his stuff while he went to try to find me some bananas to replace mine. He came back a few seconds later with a brown bag of bananas for me, saying he had gotten a “real bargain on them.” How did he find bananas so fast? He also had a cup of coffee for himself, and said he was having, “Java with Jesus.” I think I’m going to use that as a new book title!
These are just a few examples. He talked to me about MANY things on the different trains we took, including:
- obeying everything God says and being faithful, so I won’t lose my reward (2 John 1:8)
- using my preaching gift and sharing the gospel with the lost because time is short. You can show God’s love by helping others practically and sharing your story.
- offering my body as a living sacrifice to God – eating healthy, exercising, fasting and praying. “Lethargy is our enemy,” he said.
- continuing to write, because writing brings me closer to God and is changing me.
- viewing myself as valuable and successful, because the way you view yourself is the way others will view you. I found this astounding advice, considering his appearance, but he walked in confidence and authority. Ray later said maybe if he dressed in a nice suit, he couldn’t reach all the people he needed to reach for God, like homeless people, drug addicts, and the poor.
- living within your means, not spending more than you earn, saving each month.
- establishing new good habits.
As you can see, he talked to me about many practical things. God wants us to have common sense and wisdom for our lives here.
Stay tuned for Part 5 of my Canada Blog Series.