I needed to take my husband to the emergency room, and had no idea when I would get back to the house. It was mid morning and his stomach pains were getting worse. I quickly dialed my neighbor’s number to tell them what was happening and ask if they could take the dog out in a few hours. I got their answering machine, but left a message anyway. Just as I hung up, there was a knock at the back door. I opened it to see that same neighbor standing there.
“Is everything all right? We were driving out of the driveway and Joanie said I should check and see if you needed anything.”
My jaw dropped. Boy! Does God move fast, or what?
Yes, a skeptic could say my neighbors knew we were in a difficult period (until finally the surgeon removed the evil gallbladder), and that things were precarious for a while. But how could that split second timing be a coincidence?
How many times have you experienced God stepping into your life to ease your pain or save you from a tight situation? Perhaps it was a sense of peace flowing over you after you cried out to the Lord through torrents of tears. Maybe the one person in your world that held the key to your dilemma just happened to turn up exactly when you needed him. “I was thinking about you,” he may say, or “I had a feeling you needed....”
Don’t miss that. That’s not coincidence.
I used to believe in coincidences. I also used to believe that God pretty much sat on the sidelines, rooting for me as I navigated random events and tried to make good decisions. Later, I came to know a loving God who is very much involved in my life. I have no idea why he considers me worthy of his attention, but with humility and gratitude, admit he does.
When troubled or confused, often something I read or heard made things clearer. I have listened to sermons that spoke into my heart just when I needed to hear those particular words. Offhand remarks have had way of hitting home.
I’m not alone in this. The Bible is full of people who cried out to God and God responded. From Moses to the prophets, and even to us today, God holds us up when we are ready to crumble, wipes our tears, and leads us out of our desert landscapes. He is the faithful Good Sheppard.
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)
Even believing in God, we can sometimes miss those special interventions that have God’s fingerprints all over them.
There is the old story about the flood victim sitting on his roof while the waters creep higher and higher. “Help me Lord!” he cries out. Soon a man paddling a boat draws along the side of his house and offers to take him on board. The victim refuses help. Two other times, people offer to rescue him and he refuses.
He’s waiting for God to help, you see.
Lord Jesus, open my eyes and heart to all the ways you lovingly care for me. Meet me you in your Holy Word. Let me recognize your quiet voice when you whisper truth to guide my steps. May I grow closer to you so that when I turn my head to the right or left you are always there.