Just in case you don’t think God cares about the things going on in our world, our country, and our minuscule individual lives right now. . . .
Just in case you don’t think God knows each of us personally, intimately, thoroughly, and better than we know ourselves. . . .
Just in case you think there is no God, and people like me, who proclaim that He is alive and active and still amazing, are just crazy or stupid, let me present the nine zillionth God-incidence of my lifetime:
I was on the pickleball court, chatting with my pals. A couple of them are very well-read. My sister had just lent me a novel by the writer Kristin Hannah, and I mentioned it. One of the ladies exclaimed, “Oh! Have you read ‘The Nightingale’ by her? It is my favorite book of all time!”
I said that based on her recommendation, I would get that book next.
Well, a couple of days later, here came a box from an out-of-town bookstore with three books. I assumed it was a birthday gift, as my birthday was in a few days. There was a blank journal, a bio about Laura Ingalls Wilder, and . . . wait for it! . . . you knew this was coming . . . “The Nightingale,” by Kristin Hannah. There was no card. But I knew who had sent it.
Oh, that thoughtful pickleball pal of mine! I called her and launched into an effusive thank-you. “But wait!” she replied, perplexed. “I didn’t send it. It wasn’t from me.”
Hunhhh? One by one, I called the three other pickleball ladies who were in the conversation that morning. None of them had sent it.
Whaaa? Was my iPhone eavesdropping on me from across the pickleball court? Had it sent the tip to amazon.com, through Google, cross-referencing my data to see that my birthday was coming up, and through artificial intelligence made me order my own birthday present as a twisted techno-surprise?
Of course not!
Well, then, did somebody break into our home, creep around, notice the Kristin Hannah book from my sister on my bedside table, but knew “The Nightingale” was a better book, so instead of burglarizing my home, sent me that book? A super-literate, benevolent burglar?!?
Nooo. Then was it a case of mistaken identity? Wrong address? UPS snafu?
I mean, how could this have happened? I checked, and there are 129,864,880 books in print right now, according to Google. What are the odds that I would get THAT book?!?
I stuffed it into my “Things That Make You Go ‘Hunh’ File.” Then came my actual birthday. In the mail was an envelope from the same bookstore where the three new books had come. In it was a gift card, with a note expressing hope that I liked the three books and would use the gift card to get more in the near future.
Signed: my daughter and son-in-law in California. Immediately, I called them.
Had anyone told them about my friend’s recommendation about that book on the pickleball court? Of course not.
Then how’d they pick that book, out of the 129,864,880 books in print?!?
Well, the clouds didn’t part and the Lord Jehovah did not throw thunderbolts down that pointed to that book on the bookstore shelf. It was simply on a list of books that women my age tend to like.
Coincidence? Or God-incidence? Guess which I believe?
That’s our Lord. I’ve seen Him do this time and time again. He loves it! He will bend over backwards across time, across continents, across age gaps, across any other obstacle you could name, to make us happy. For Him 129,864,880 books are not too many to sort through to make sure Little SuSu has the desire of her heart, a particular new book.
I’m telling you, He feels the same way about each and every person on this planet. If you trust Him, He will surprise, delight and bless you, in unmistakeable ways. No matter how bad things may get in your life, your family, your workplace or your country, God is faithful to be the miraculous difference maker.
I never prayed for that particular book. But I sure did pray, and always pray, for the Lord to show Himself — to come alive in my life, and that of my loved ones. Through His amazing “touches” to us, He can draw others to Him for their good and His glory.
How I wish those rioters, looters and statue destroyers could know this about God. How I wish anyone who feels hopeless and helpless about anything under the sun could, too.
So . . . what are the odds that I’m wrong and this was just another silly coincidence? I’d say, oh, one in 129,864,880. But what are the odds that I’m right, and that was Him being Him? I’d say a zillion to one. †
Delight thyself also in the Lord:
and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
By Susan Darst Williams • 6/28/2020 • www.RadiantBeams.org • © 2020