1 Samuel 30 tells us the story of David’s recovery of all that had been stolen from him in Ziklag by the Amalekites. The situation was dire: not only did he and his men return from the Philistines having been rejected by them and deemed untrustworthy only to find their wives and children abducted by enemies, but his own men, in despair, even talked of stoning David. In his distress, he found strength in God and was encouraged by God to pursue the Amalekites to recover all that had been stolen from him. (1 Sam 30:1-7)

On the way, they met an Egyptian, a man abandoned by the Amalekites, who had not eaten or drunk for three days and nights. (1 Sam 30:11-12) Remembering his ‘desert hospitality’ and showing kindness and compassion to this man, David found that this apparently coincidental meeting was actually God’s providence, the means to finding the Amalekites and the way to victory. Who could have thought that an act of mercy could bring such rewards? Who could have imagined that God would work in such a way?

Our lives are testimonies to these many ‘coincidences’ which are actually signs of God’s providence. Chance meetings, random circumstances and unexpected meetings are often the way God chooses to direct our paths. David could have been too intent on pursuit to pause and help a stranger. By showing kindness and mercy, he was to find God had already gone ahead of him and answered his prayers. Let’s never be too busy to pause and show kindness to others. As Jesus said, it’s when we invite the strangers in, give food and drink to those in need and visit those in prison that we are actually serving Jesus Himself. (Matt 25:31-46)