Coincidence or The Hand of God???
Do we recognize God’s perfect timing in our lives or chalk it up to a simple coincidence? We may find ourselves saying things like, what a coincidence! Can you believe the timing of it? That happened at just the right moment?
I would wager many of us miss God's hand in our daily life. Maybe we wish God would announce his plans and provisions for our lives as clearly as he did with Moses when the Israelites were caught between the Red Sea and Egyptian chariots. In that case, it was clear to see that God was with them, and at precisely the right moment, the water started rising. I’ve always wondered why God didn’t already have the water flowing upward as they were walking up to the sea, but I suppose it had something to do with trust and total reliance on him. Right?
Hopefully, we will never face a Moses/Red Sea moment in our lives, but we face situations where timing is everything. I tend to rush and plan; I like my ducks in a neatly organized row. I’m the Israelite that would have wanted the sea parted a mile before I got there, so I could see it parting as I approached.
The dictionary defines coincidence as an occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident, but seem to have some connection. I'll let you decide whether you see my simple story as a coincidence or God intervening on my behalf.
Stewart and I bought a piece of land a while back and have been dreaming about making a move out there for a while. We did all the things to get ready to sell our house, built a new deck, painted the walls a nice neutral color, and we did the whole decluttering bit too.
I found it difficult to quit worrying about where we would live when we sold our house throughout the process. These ugly nagging thoughts would emerge and ask, “Where are you going to live? Three kids and a dog, good luck finding a place! So, I took that worry and googled, thinking that would shut him up, but the more I googled, the louder those thoughts became. Mr. Worry would say, See, I told you, renting with three kids and a dog isn’t going to be easy. I only found one tiny rental in all of my googling, and it came with a hefty price tag.
One night I took Mr. Worry to Stewart, “There is nowhere, and I mean nowhere to rent! What are we going to do?”
He just dismissed my frantic worrying with…” What is that verse in the bible about God taking care of the birds and the flowers of the field? And we don’t even have a for sale sign in our yard yet!”
I needed this reminder. The verse alone should have been enough to keep me from my worrying, my own track record with God should have kept me from worrying about it, but those pesky little worry thoughts were persistent and wouldn’t leave me alone.
The time finally came, and we placed the for-sale sign in the yard. It was suddenly real! We were really going to this, and I need a place for this family of five and a Dottie dog.
I began to google more; I extended my search to include surrounding counties, thinking we could commute if we needed to. Nothing. Nada, Zilch!
My lunch break ritual became unwrap my sandwich and see what rental houses were available. Three weeks later, my search brought up a three-bedroom house that would be perfect for us. I immediately called the number, no answer!
About thirty minutes after I found the first real rental contender, a realtor called with a potential buyer wanting to see our house that very day. He said she was extremely interested in our house.
On my way home, I drove by the rental place and saw the red for rent sign in the yard, and from the looks of the house and the great location, I could tell the competition would be steep for this place.
Later that night, we received an offer for the house! While I was happy we had an offer, I felt panic again; where will we live???
Early the next morning, I’m sitting in my chair having a few quiet moments with the Lord when I saw my phone light up for just a second with a missed call. It was the number of the rental place! I immediately called back, and she said she had accidentally called me when she was trying to check on her mother, but when she saw she had called me, she hung up. We had a great conversation, and she agreed to show us the house at nine’ o'clock that morning. She was in the process of going over applications and had already had one hundred and sixty!
I went back to my reading. As I was getting up from my chair, I felt God impress on my heart. Why do you worry? Did you see what I just did there? I provided you with what you needed on the very day you needed it, and I did it during the time of day you usually spend with me, so hopefully, you wouldn’t miss that I did this for you.
As I walked towards the shower, I felt so loved by God, and yet at the same time, a little disappointed I had spent so much time worrying. I wished my faith had been stronger.
By the time we saw the house three hours later, the landlord had said she had over one hundred and eighty people apply for the house. When she told us that, I couldn’t help but get all tingly. It was like God hugged me and told me His timing is always perfect, and you have no idea how I take care of you.
Waiting is uncomfortable. Waiting requires patience. Waiting is a submissive stance. Waiting is hard. Waiting requires you to put your hope in the future.
I know that many of you are waiting on something. I realize you may be waiting on things far bigger and more serious situations than where you are going to live next, but my hope for you is that your faith grows stronger as you wait and your spirit recognizes that God is working, even when you don’t see it.
I pray you will not waste your precious time worrying like I did, but trust that He is in charge. I want to say the next time I find myself in an uncertain situation, I will have the faith to rest on my history with the Lord, but I’m not sure I can make that claim. I do, however, plan to remind myself of how God has provided for me, and I plan to look for God’s hand in my circumstances rather than chalk it up to a mere coincidence. At least, that is the way I see it.