Grateful for God’s Occasional Little Unexpected Visitations

In the Bible, a visitation from God is some special occasion in which God acts or His presence is manifest. He demonstrates His love or power or His working in our lives. Sometimes God visits us in unusual ways.

  • Sometimes through a miraculous sign.
  • Sometimes through a sovereign move of God.
  • Sometimes a slice or ray of heaven.
  • Sometimes through His miraculous protection in a close call.
  • Sometimes a visitation through an angel—perhaps unawares.
  • Or sometimes through an unexpected person whom God brings through the door unawares to show us in a little way He is at work or to give us hope and encouragement.

Twice in the past, an unexpected person showed up at our church, and just their very presence became a blessing to myself and our congregation. I have to admit I am so out of touch with today’s culture that I have had two famous musicians visit the little church I pastored and I had no idea who they were.

One night at our small temporary church building that would hold only 30 people, we were holding a special worship and prayer service. I had invited a musician couple to lead this special service. We were packed in with 40+ people and standing room only. 

A man with dreadlocks flowing down his shoulders and his arms blackened, full of tattoos, walked in our service. Someone apparently had saved him a seat and so he sat down. I thought, who is that and what brought him in here? I began praying for the Holy Spirit to work on his heart to save him. 

Then one of the college guys from our church came over and whispered to me excitedly, “Do you know who that is?” “No,” I replied.  “Brian Welch of Korn,” he said. 

I am have to admit that I am so out of it that had no idea who Brian Welch was or what Korn was. He proceeded to tell me about the famous secular rock group “Korn” and that he had heard about this guitarist who turned from drug addiction to Christ—Brian Welch. 

How in the world did Brian Welch show up at our church? It turns out that the couple leading worship for us worked with his daughter, so he came to hear them lead worship, and to have prayer for a family need. So we prayed for him and his family. After the service, I had a good conversation with Brian as he shared a little about his faith, and how he came to receive Christ. And it turned out he knew some other minister friends of mine as well.

Imagine that, Brian Welch showed up at our tiny church. It was only one occasion, but he lit up our lives for one night. It was a God-thing. A visitation from God to encourage our little fledging congregation.

Our daughter-in-law was so shocked when my wife Kathy told her, that she posted on Facebook, “I had the strangest conversation with my mother-in-law. She asked if she knew of the musician Brian Welch. I never expected her, of all people, to know who that was. I asked how she knew that name and she said, “Oh I met him. He came to our church.” She was amazed!

On another occasion, someone had heard me speak at a conference on “Hearing the Voice of God.” At that conference, I mentioned that that our church held healing services. He contacted me and asked when we would have a healing service again. I gave him a date of a Sunday service in a couple weeks when we would devote time to healing prayer. He told me his name, but the name did not register with me. 

He drove two hours that Sunday morning to attend this special service. When he and his family walked in the door, our worship leader exclaimed, “Hey, that looks like Josh Garrells.” Again, I was so out of it, his name did not mean anything to me. I found out he was a famous Christian worship singer. 

Josh was having trouble with his voice and he drove 2 hours to our church with his family to receive healing prayer. During our healing prayer time, we spent 10-15 minutes praying for him in soaking prayer. Whether he received a complete healing or not, I don’t know. But he said when we prayed for him, he had a definite physical touch from the Lord. We blessed him with our prayers and he blessed us with his presence.

Just out of the blue, sometimes God brings someone special into our lives, even for a brief moment, just to show us that He has not forgotten about us, just to show us that He cares enough, just to show us that He is at work in the small things—to despise not the day of small things.

Think about God’s occasional visitations in your life—some small but uplifting way in which God has shown up—or some special person He brought into your life for a brief moment. Give thanks and show Him your gratitude.


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