Most people like to make things happen so that we are in control and feel good about ourselves, or receive praise and admiration from others. It's called performance and we like to excel in it. When something unusual takes place out of our control, many of us, however, wonder: is it a coincidence, or is it God bringing something about in our daily lives?
We all have these events taking place in our lives and often we take them for granted, ignore them, don’t even recognize them, or know it is God at work in our lives. Think about the time or way that you met your spouse, how you received an unexpected job offer, met somebody who encouraged you when you needed it, read a book or article that gave you insight into a direction in your life, or met someone in unusual circumstances for no apparent reason. The list goes on and on.
Let me share what I am referring to. Years ago, my wife, Sandra and I were having lunch when we were approached by a former fellow high school student, whom we had not seen for years and years, where she related this amazing experience.
Her husband was in a Vancouver hospital about to go into surgery with a very serious operation. According to the former student, she was in a room in the hospital desperately pleading with the Lord for a sign from Him that she could relate to confirming that her husband was going to successfully pull through the surgery. As she finished praying, there was a television in the room, which she turned on to a Christian channel.
Who was being interviewed at that very moment on a national TV show but yours truly, a fellow student of 40 years ago sharing about our Lord’s faithfulness. She knew that it was not a coincidence but a sign from Him that her husband was going to make it through the surgery successfully, which he did.
Not every event is as pronounced as this. Several years ago Sandra and I were in Finland taking a tour of a horse ranch, and when returning to the tour bus we noticed a couple with the husband wearing a Prince Edward Island baseball cap. I asked him if they were from Canada. He said they were and from B.C. When I asked where in B.C., he advised that it was a small town that I would not know, so my response was “try me.” The answer, of course, was Fort St. John.
We had never seen this couple before, nor have we ever seen them upon our return. You might wonder, why the unusual meeting? We have all experienced these sorts of meetings especially if they have no obvious or apparent reason.
When events like this happen, do we even recognize them as unique? Do we ignore them as part of life? Do we consider that maybe God is at work in our lives and, if so, what is our potential response? Is He trying to get our attention? Is He reminding us that He is with us? Is He connecting us for eternal purposes? Is He desiring that we stop and ask Him if there is something we are do, such as pray for the couple from Fort St. John that we didn’t and still don’t know, but He does?
What I do know is that Our Lord is loving, intimate, personal, holy, caring in every way. He desires to be intimately involved in every aspect of our thoughts and lives. Isn’t it incredible and yet improbable to fully comprehend how He is always multitasking in so many ways to so many people all at the same time? We just need to be open to Him by walking in the Spirit and in obedience to His purposes.
John Grady lives and writes in Fort St John.