A Divine Mistake

I chose my seat in church this morning without much thought—I saw a girl I knew, so I sat next to her. As we waited for the service to begin, I wrote my name and a prayer request on the tear-off section of the bulletin, then set it down when we stood up to sing.

The songs this morning were ones I needed to hear, with words like, “It is well with my soul,” and I got to thinking about the beauty of the moment, how much I need church, how my soul felt at rest. I reached behind me and sloppily jotted down a thought on my bulletin.

Except it wasn’t mine.

A few minutes later we sat down for the message to begin. I had the bulletin with my name and prayer request on the tear-off section, but not my note. Slowly it dawned on me that I had written a note on someone else’s bulletin. The person behind me must have set it on the chair next to mine, and in my haste to get the thought out I had written on the wrong one.

Woops, I thought. Too late to do anything about it now. I wrote down what I could remember of my original note, and thought maybe after the service I’d apologize to the person whose bulletin I had written on—I felt kind of bad about it.

Except immediately after the service I got caught up in a conversation, then spotted a friend I hadn’t seen in a while who was visiting my church, and forgot about looking for the person who had ended up with my note to apologize.

Until a girl stopped me as I exited my row. I had greeted a group of college girls who were sitting behind me, but hadn’t even asked their names.

“Did you write a note on a bulletin?” she asked me.

“Yea…” was about all I got out.

“Because the girl who got it really needed to hear that.” I tried to explain I had felt bad about writing on someone else’s bulletin, but she shrugged it off. “She’s been dealing with some stuff, and she really needed it. It was a God thing,” she said, or something to that effect.

I didn’t know what to say. I think I stammered out an, “I’m so glad,” and thanked her for telling me before she went to find the group of people she had ridden with.

A God thing.” I don’t think I’ve ever knowningly been a part of a “God thing” before.

And here, in my picking up the wrong bulletin, I was.

I’m not telling this story to brag; there is very little of this that has to do with me. I didn’t even get the name of the girl who spoke to me after the service, and I don’t know which of the girls I greeted ended up with my note.

But God does. This was all him, not me.

He knew what this girl needed to hear, and it was something I needed too—I wouldn’t have written it down otherwise.

I don’t know why this girl needed that note, and I’ll likely never find out.


But I am so very glad God knows what we need to hear.

I’m glad God uses little things.

I’m glad God uses divinely orchestrated mistakes.

Like writing on the wrong bulletin.


Til next time…


p.s. Has there ever been a time God used something small, mistake or otherwise, in your life? Also, later this week there will be a follow-up post about what I, and the girl who ended up with my note, needed to hear.

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