This morning I went to see my dentist for my six month checkup and cleaning. Fortunately, I won’t have to go back for another six months. Every time I go to Dr. Paul Barganier’s office, I am reminded of a particular visit about nine years ago. As I sat in his office waiting to go back, I picked up and read that day’s devotion from Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest. I still remember that devotions specific relevance in my life at the time and though I certainly didn’t realize it then, I now also recognize what else God began in my life. It wasn’t long after my appointment that day that I purchased my own copy of Chamber’s devotional and began making it part of my daily reading. Up until then, my daily time with the Lord was very inconsistent. Many of Oswald Chamber’s devotions have been extremely relevant at particular moments in my life. God has used his writings to minister to me. I count his writings as a tremendous source of blessing. I made it a habit to not only to read the devotion, but also the chapter of the Bible for that particular day’s key passage.
This year, the theme at our church has been The Gospel on Display, about how we as Christians are to live out the effects the gospel has had on our lives. Dr. Barganier attends a different church, yet has nonetheless faithfully fulfilled the same Christian mandate, to live out the effects of the gospel, to be, the gospel on display. I have personally witnessed this on several occasions.
God never does anything by accident. As Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest sat there on the table along with the other books and magazines, I know God drew me to that devotional on that day. I also know that this devotional has helped to further, not only my love for God, but also my love for writing devotions. I’ve thanked Dr. Barganier on several occasions for making it available in his office. This morning, some nine years after I first read one of the devotions from it, I thanked him again and gave him a copy of my own devotional, Unveiled.
We live in a society and culture that tells us that our faith should be private, that it’s okay to believe what you want; just keep it to yourself. That’s not true! As Christians, we are live out and share the things we profess to believe. Faith in God is not meant to be hidden away, but displayed for others to see. We never know the situations the Holy Spirit will use to further our walk with Christ or who He may use in the process. He has used many people in mine, some who may not even know it, and some who I may not have even realized He was using at the time. One of those people is my dentist, Dr. Paul Barganier, who by making this and other devotional’s available in his waiting room, not only was, but is being the gospel on display.