“I just got a call from Mary, “ Frieda began. “And you are not going to believe this.”
Frieda was the chairperson for the parsonage committee of our church. The congregation had just purchased a newer home for their clergy family (Us!), one that was closer to the church.
Some new furniture would also be required. (Back then, parsonages were supposed to be furnished, too.) Frieda had called to tell me about an interesting development.
She had just happened to mention to Mary, our choir director, that the committee was shopping for parsonage furniture. Mary had said, “Well, I’ve got a whole storage unit full of furniture, and I need to sell it!”
“ What do you have?” Frieda asked.
The more items Mary listed, the more excited Frieda became: A dining room table and four chairs, a matching buffet, a bedroom set, a curio cabinet —just happened to match a number of items on our list.
Within a day or two, Frieda and I visited the storage unit with Mary. The furniture was in good condition and lovely—much of it off-white, which suited our Florida climate. Dear Mary was more than fair on the price of it all. That left more in the budget for other expenditures.
My one concern was the number of chairs for the dining room table. If only there were six, it would be perfect, I thought. Frieda and I decided to check some thrift stores. Perhaps we’d find two chairs that would at least coordinate with Mary’s set.
Can you imagine our surprise when we just happened to find two chairs almost identical to Mary’s? The seat covers were different, but when all six chairs were reupholstered, you’d have to look very carefully to notice any difference.
Each of you surely have some “just-so-happened” stories of your own. Isn’t it delightful to be at just the right place at the right time to enjoy such coincidences?
Actually, in a universe under the control of God Almighty, such events are much more than coincidence; they’re God-incidents. He’s the one doing the orchestrating. How do I know? Scripture tells us:
“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear” (Isaiah 65:24).
Jesus taught the same truth: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8).
In addition, the Bible is full of examples:
- The Egyptian princess just happened to find Moses in the bulrushes.
- The Israelite spies just happened to meet Rahab, a woman willing to help them escape Jericho’s authorities.
- Ruth just happened to choose Boaz’ field for gleaning.
- David just happened to be a marksman with a slingshot, when Goliath and the Philistines threatened Israel.
- Esther just happened to be chosen queen of Persia, as Haman was plotting to annihilate the Jews.
Our all-knowing God foresees each need. And before we’re even aware of what’s around the corner, he is already there. He has already supplied.
What a gracious, faithful God he is!
* * * * * * * * * *
Thank you, oh Lord, for the countless times you have engineered events for my benefit. In actuality, those occasions when I recognize your handiwork are probably just a small sampling of the hundreds (thousands?) of times you’ve supernaturally provided, protected, and guided.
And you’re not finished yet! Your faithfulness will continue until I am safely home in heaven, because you will not “be false to your faithfulness” (Psalm 89:33b). Not ever.
Oh, how I want to be faithful to you in return!