Coincidence or God?
In 2017, I was blessed to go to Poland on my first mission trip. As I was giving my testimony to a group of people, I remember saying, “There came a time in my life when I realized that the things happening were too much coincidence to be coincidence. I acknowledged that it was God moving in my life and I made the choice to proceed accordingly.” It sparked some very interesting conversation of others who had experienced a similar feeling during their journey with the Lord. I recalled this time in Poland recently with an experience I had, that I would like to share with you today.
I found myself in a situation that required me to make a decision that was fairly unique. My impulse, my initial reaction, which of course is my flesh, wanted to make the easier choice that would have resulted in an easy, comfortable road, but would walk the line with what God’s word says. A deep tugging inside, beckoned me to pause. And so I did.
I prayed and as the night passed, I carefully considered my choices. The next morning, still unresolved, I sought the Lord in prayer again. My flesh was desperately trying to reason with me to make the easy choice, but the discomfort in my belly already knew the answer. I already knew that God’s way is the ONLY way, even when it’s difficult… ESPECIALLY when it’s difficult! Yet, still I wrestled.
The Bible says that if we are neither hot nor cold, then we are lukewarm and He will spit us out. (Revelation 3:15-16) Walking the line of what God commands by reasoning to ourselves that God understands our plight, falls directly into what this scripture is saying. Even with this in mind, I went into my prayer closet and petitioned the Lord. I prayed, recalled scripture and listened for the Lord to stir inside of my heart. Yet all I heard was my racing thoughts and all I felt was the inability to sit still. This wrestling went on for about 30 min until I finally, feeling frustrated, resigned to the idea that God was staying silent on this one.
As I left my closet, I instinctively went over and checked my phone and what I saw instantly welled my eyes up with tears. The text was from a dear friend of mine who is a trusted follower of Jesus. It was time stamped “15 min ago” (while I was in prayer). It said nothing personal, just quoted two scriptures.
Hebrews 12:7 - Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Galatians 6:9 - So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Random? Coincidence? Absolutely not! This person had absolutely NO idea that I was going through this decision making process. Who sends a random text message of two scriptures with no context or personal message whatsoever? This was God and there was no refuting that! I knew instantly that the choice I needed to make was the one that may seem harder initially but that would result in my “reaping a harvest of blessing” if I continue to do “what is good” in the eyes of God! If not, I would be “disciplined” as his child.
These scriptures couldn’t have been more clear to me and my decision was made! God did NOT stay silent. He answered me literally while I was in prayer asking him for direction.
Friend, I would encourage you to pay CLOSE attention to the situations that seem random or coincidental in your life. When God gives us an answer, a blessing or protection and we call it “coincidence, luck or random,” we are hurling an insult or even rejection straight to the face of God. We would never want to be guilty of doing that. He deserves the honor and glory in every occasion and a simple acknowledgment and gratitude is called for. These situations should be building the muscles of our faith. His timing is always perfect. There is no coincidence in anything he does. That should be comforting and relax us to our core.
Also, be sure to pay close attention to the Holy Spirit stirring in your heart when situations arise in your life. The only way to feel the inner tug of direction from the Lord is to have a personal relationship with Him. You can only have a relationship with someone if you know them and speak to them regularly. So remain steady in prayer and continue to seek him through the Word.
I am once again grateful and humbled by this recent experience. I am choosing to listen to the Lord and make the choice that I know is right, even though it may be unpopular and possibly uncomfortable for a time. But my faith is rooted in the promises of God and he promises that if we “do not tire of doing what is good, we will reap a harvest of blessing!”