Coincidence vs. Sovereignty



West End Architectural Salvage ... When my sister said we were beginning our day-long celebration of our mom and dad’s 60th anniversary at a coffee shop by that name, I was hesitant.  It turned out to be an interesting place!  Located in a huge old building, it is a mixture of antique shop, museum, and coffee haven. 

While walking around to marvel at the ancient relics scattered high and low, I noticed a lady had come around the corner at the end of the hallway.  When I looked at her I was shocked to see Julie, my next door neighbor!  Here we were, more than two hours away from our homes, running into each other at this unique place.  She was equally surprised, and we had a nice little chat before she left to go shopping with her daughter.

After finishing our cozy hot chocolate and chai, we continued with our party to a fabulous little museum called Iowa Hall of Pride, and next to a 50’s diner, hearkening back to the time when my parents were first married.

Before we took a tour of places where my parents had grown up, met, and the church where they were married, we stopped at a small grocery store in the middle of an old neighborhood.  We all dispersed to follow our interests, and since I’m not much of a shopper, I quickly made my purchases and then wandered out to enjoy the sunshine while I waited.

When my sister walked out with a smile on her face, I couldn’t believe it when she said, “My neighbor is inside!” Sharon’s next door neighbor, over an hour away from their hometown, was at the same store at the same time we were.  It was fun to go back in to meet the sweet Japanese lady and her family.

What are the chances?  What are the odds that both my sister and I would see our next door neighbors, on the same day, so far from home?  Even if we had scheduled seeing them, it couldn’t have turned out this smoothly.  Timing and place in perfect synchronization. 

Why?  It’s not that we had earth-moving conversations with our neighbors, whom we are trying to reach with the love of God.  Perhaps God arranged these appointments to remind us that …

1.  He is in charge of our appointments, ones we know about and the ones that surprise us.
2.  He can arrange any combination of scenarios because He is God and He is working out a plan.
3.  He is always watching us, and other people are, too. 

Today I am thankful for these reminders, and it makes me look forward with a perspective of …

1.  Anticipation:  I wonder what God is going to do next!
2.  Accountability:  I had better make sure I am right with God, because He is always watching me, and others should see Christ through me.
3.  Preparation:  I had better be prepared for whatever God has in store.  I need to be ready to encourage, share hope, edify, and shine for Him wherever I go.

Coincidence?  Nope.  My God is sovereign.

“For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth … all things were created through Him and for Him.  And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist… that in all things He may have the preeminience.”
Colossians 1:17-18

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