Devotion and Discipleship

Coincidence? I think not.

I don’t believe in coincidence.

In our secular, scientific culture, we dismiss seemingly random occurrences as, well, random.  After all, why would we think that losing our keys or getting stuck in a traffic jam could be anything else?

But maybe… because you were late you were protected from a car accident.

Maybe…. buying coffee 10 minutes late let you encourage the new barista.

I also don’t believe in fate.

I certainly don’t believe that God has us on strings like marionettes, for if He did, there would be no need to fill the Scripture with passages talking about His longing for people to respond to Him.

If we were puppets, He wouldn’t have chosen to call out to Adam and Eve in the Garden, and if Paul had no free-will Jesus wouldn’t have asked him, “why are you persecuting me?”

If everything were dictated by God, this world would be an entirely different place.

BUT…

Jesus is the very definition of the supernatural actively working within the natural world.

The way He lived and taught proves to us that God cares about the little things in our world, like whether or not we had lunch (Matthew 14:13-21) or when a child needs a hug (Matthew 19:14).  His very existence proves that God is actively taking a role in influencing the natural world.

I know – sometimes, we just can’t see God working.

Remember the prophet Elisha?  When the Arameans had surrounded Samaria, his servant was in a panic.  He saw nothing but bloodshed and defeat in the future, because he saw nothing but the physical world.  But Elisha simply prayed “open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see” (2 Kings 6:17) and the servant could suddenly see God’s angelic warriors surrounding the attacking army.

Just like Elisha’s servant, there are days when we scurry around in a panic, worried about everything that is going wrong, frustrated because nothing moves forward the way we want it to. We too must pray that God will open our awareness to His activity around us and in our lives.

Like…  was it just coincidence that when we moved recently no house was right – until we looked at the one in the same neighborhood as my sister?

Or was it random chance that I put off buying a potting shed I really wanted for over a year – and then recently got the chance to buy a custom made one from a friend raising money for an adoption?

Or was it just fortuitous timing that, on the very Sunday morning when I was most struggling with heartbreak and bitterness over leaving my beloved homestead, my pastor preached a sermon about letting go of dreams?

Yeah, I don’t think so, either.  You see, when we assume little things to be “coincidence,” we risk overlooking the reality of God’s active involvement in our lives.

Or in the world at large.

Like when I hear sermons at church, read blog posts, or hear music on the radio all talking about how God grants us rest and provides us the strength that we need.  Clearly, the same message needs to be heard by multiple people right now, and God is making sure they hear it.

So no, I don’t believe in coincidences.  I believe in the Holy Spirit’s activity in the world.

The Holy Spirit is busy and active,  convicting of sin, helping us pray, comforting us in our sadness, teaching us, strengthening us in weakness,  and empowering us. He is why we can have hope and strength even when life is stressing us out.

He is the authoritative voice of God speaking to us through “coincidences”, giving us opportunities to love people, giving us more reason to love God, helping us to become every more aware of His presence in the little things.

Perhaps you, too, can think of a time when something looked like a coincidence, but truly could have been nothing less than God’s loving hand at work in your life.

Let us all be ever more aware of that reality.

 

Like Elisha's servant, let us pray that God will open our awareness to His activity in us and in our world. Click To Tweet When we assume little things to be coincidence, we risk overlooking the reality of God's active involvement in our world. Click To Tweet

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