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Posts Tagged ‘God-incidents’

I had no idea; maybe you didn’t either.

One of the reasons birds can fly has to do with the tiny barbs on each feather—hundreds, even thousands of them per feather, depending on the size. The barbs zipper-lock together, providing an airtight seal on the bird’s wings. Without that seal, birds would not be able to achieve lift (1).

 

 

The Almighty Engineer of the universe was mindful of every detail necessary so his avian creations could fly. And that’s just one small example out of millions in nature, proving:

 

God pays attention to detail.

 

But creation is not the only theater where his attentiveness is on display.

Our detail-oriented God has been active throughout recorded history. Out of countless illustrations, consider these three from the American Revolution:

 

Bunker Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, June 17, 1775.  “Don’t shoot till you see the whites of their eyes” was the pre-battle cry that day and quickly became famous.

 

  • The British brought the wrong-size cannonballs to the Battle of Bunker Hill. Though officially the Americans lost this conflict (they ran out of ammunition), the British casualties more than doubled those of the patriots (2).
  • Perfect weather in March, 1776 assisted the Americans in their move to free the citizens of Boston from British occupation. Frozen ground made it relatively easy to move 350 ox carts of heavy wooden obstacles (in one night!) so they could fortify their position above Boston at Dorchester Heights. In addition, ground fog in the valley hid the patriots from view and a strong wind in the heights helped carry away the sound of their movements (3).
  • On Christmas Eve of 1776, Hessian Colonel, Johann von Rall was playing cards in Trenton, New Jersey when he received a dispatch: Washington’s army was nearing the city. But Rall stuffed the message in his pocket, unread, and by evening’s end, forgot it was even there. Washington’s attack on the 26th was a complete surprise and a victory for the patriots (4).

 

(Washington inspecting the captured colors

after the Battle of Trenton,

by Edward Percy Moran, 1914.)

 

General Washington wrote to William Gordon in March, 1781: “We have…abundant reasons to thank Providence for its many favorable interpositions on our behalf. It has at times been my only dependence, for all other resources seemed to have failed us” (5).

Our own lives give similar proof of God’s attention to details, when we’ve received just what we needed at the precise time we needed it.

Years ago we needed a new refrigerator. The budget was tight, and such a large expense would normally have required a withdrawal from our paltry savings account.

But! We “happened” to receive an unexpected state income tax return—from a couple of years previous. It was sufficient to purchase the refrigerator with a few dollars to spare.

Yes, there are those who would see such events as coincidences. But when circumstances of protection, provision, and guidance occur again and again, the explanation of simple happenstance proves insufficient.

 

 

George Washington was right: we have abundant reasons to thank God for his many favorable interventions.

Think of all the scriptures that assure us of his wise administration of all things and his loving care of all creatures. I find great comfort in the knowledge that:

  • I am always sheltered under his wings (Psalm 61:4).
  • “[He] works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will” (Ephesians 1:11).
  • “From him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36).

 

 

Do I always rest peacefully in these truths? No. When troubles assault, it can take some time for my emotional state to catch up to my statements of faith.

However! Even though I may quake at the uncertainties in front of me, I can still choose to trust my attentive Father who will see me through—down to the last detail.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

I praise you, Jehovah-sabaoth, the Lord of hosts. All power and authority belong to you, all things are under your control—even the seemingly insignificant details of my life. How thankful I am to be one of your sheep, under your care, my great, attentive Shepherd.

I pray that you, Jehovah-sabaoth, bring all power and authority to bear upon Hurricane Irma, tearing toward Florida as I type.  Yet even in the face of uncertainty, your people are grateful.  You are in control and every person is in your attentive care, O Great Shepherd. Thank you for watching over them as only you can.

 

Notes:

  1. Anne Graham Lotz, Refresh My Heart, Word Publishing, 1998, p. 77.
  2. www.wnd.com, “Generals Marvel at God’s Intervention in American History,” Bill Federer.
  3. https://fsu.digital.fivc.org
  4. www.warfarehistorynetwork.com
  5. www.wnd.com, “Generals Marvel at God’s Intervention in American History”, Bill Federer.

 

(Art & photo credits:  www.wikipedia.com; http://www.flickr.com; http://www.wikipedia.com (2); http://www.wikimedia.com; http://www.dailyverses.net.)

 

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“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.

 

Monarch-Rectangular-Dining-Table-with-Four-Double-X-back-Chairs-P14606639

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.

 

IMGP1825_540

 

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.

 

 

 

estherVICTORS1640s

 

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!

 

(Art and photo credits:  www.overstock.com; http://www.sammyvintage.com; http://www.catholicradiodramas.com.)

 

 

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