Was It Coincidence or Was It God?
“Look at the birds: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest and put it in barns; yet your Father in heaven takes care of them! Aren’t you worth much more than birds?” (Matthew 6:26 TEV)
Is there such a thing as coincidence? The way you answer that question will affect the way you give thanks this week. If the blessing you receive is just an accident, you can be glad. But can you be grateful?
If you understand that any blessing comes from God, then you can be grateful to him as well as the people he sends to bless you. Our ability to see God’s hand in the blessings we receive deepens our faith because we not only see him active in our circumstances; we also see him providing for our needs.
Let me give you an example. Several years ago, I realized one morning that I didn’t have enough money to make my next mortgage payment. No doubt, in this economy, you can relate. I’d been laid off twice by companies forced into bankruptcy. I’d gone through my savings, drained my retirement accounts, and, along the way, I was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder.
I’d applied for several jobs and had always been a highly productive worker, but my confidence was collapsing, and, because of the bipolar, I wasn’t sure if I could handle a standard 40-hour-a-week job.
That morning I talked to God about my circumstances. Oh, who am I kidding? I yelled at God about my circumstances (I’m so glad he allows that)! I was tired of the financial pressure. I reminded God I had two graduate degrees and 25 years experience; I deserved better than a minimum wage job.
After I vented my anger, I quieted down and said, “God, I don’t know what to do, but I’m looking to you. I haven’t got a clue. I’ll do whatever you want, God. You’re in charge.”
I sat down on the couch and in a conversation with my Heavenly Father, I said, “You know, I really liked ministering with Rick Warren at Saddleback. And that’s the kind of job I need right now, because they would allow me to work around my (bipolar) energy levels. Do you think you can find something like that for me to do?”
A few days later, the phone rang. It was one of the unsung heroes at Saddleback Church, David Chrzan, who serves as chief of staff.
He said, “Jon, we have a staff member leaving, and I wanted to see if you could help us with an online ministry.”
Was that a coincidence or was it God, the Great Engineer, at work?
If you believe the answer to my prayer above was not a coincidence but from God, why would he do any less for you?
What are some circumstances in your life that you once called coincidence but you now see as blessings from God?
You can read more about how God can work through the worst of circumstances in my new book, “Breakfast with Bonhoeffer.” “Gut-wrenching honesty, real world faith, not just another ‘feel good’ Christian story,” this book shows how God works through the worst of circumstances, including disease, divorce, and financial downfall.
This devotional © Copyright 2012 Jon Walker. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Praise for Breakfast with Bonhoeffer
“Powerful and painfully honest, Jon Walker’s storytelling is pitch perfect. Tempered with truth and humor, it is a poignant reminder that God’s providence does not always come wrapped in the packaging we expect. It is a melodious song of a fragile human being who learns to sing and trust in spite of anxiety and circumstances.”. Review by Kathy Chapman Sharp, author of Life’s Too Short to Miss the Big Picture for Women.