Coincidence: When God Hides

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“‘O Sovereign Lord, you have only begun to show your greatness and the strength of your hand to me, your servant. Is there any god in heaven or on earth who can perform such great and mighty deeds as you do?”‘

Deuteronomy 3:24, NLT

I knew God had a sense of humor when I hesitantly answered the ringing K-Mart payphone, only to hear my best friend, who had misdialed my home phone number, on the other end.

When God really does speak, He will often use circumstance to align His grace and power to you. Seldom are we untouched by this work, but the act of our personal reflection turns it into gold.

Once I prayed for my young son who had a blazing fever. Five minutes later, I laid hands on him. He was completely cool; his fever had completely broken. He was well.

I think God can do these things, and more. This is really His control over circumstances, and events that we see as firmly set, and concretely beyond our own actions. But He moves miraculously intervenes. There comes a moment when all the cosmic tumblers fall into place, and the key can be turned; the door is opened.

Walking with friends from Alaska, we wormed our way down Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. The streets and sidewalks were jammed, and our little village in Alaska was like on a different planet. Suddenly, my friend turned around to see his captain, the owner of his fishing boat come out a door of a coffee house and into the throng. Monte yelped and turned to meet his boss. They meet 5000 miles from home in one implausible moment.

These things seem a strange and supernatural “sequences of events.” But the Bible clearly teaches that one attribute of His nature is that of omnipotence. Another attribute is that of sovereignty. Together they teach us that God is fully in control and can do all things. He is so much more, but He is solidly in charge of His universe. And our lives.

 “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you!;”

2 Samuel 7:22

“O Sovereign Lord, the strong one who rescued me,
    you protected me on the day of battle.”

Psalm 140:7

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.

Albert Einstein

The Quiet Power of Jesus

“The master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.  He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside.”   John 2:9 

Jesus Christ performs the first miracle of his short ministry.  He will perform thousands of them in his brief work on planet Earth.  This miracle was done silently, there was absolutely no fanfare or hoopla. (What a contrast for ministry today!)

Silently, quietly, much like he does today, he touches the hearts of thousands of men and women.  I wouldn’t have done it this way, I would’ve advertised, had the 12 disciples out doing some PR work, maybe some autographs and definitely make it quite the show!

He is not in the storm, or the fire, or an earthquake.  That is not the way he operates (but he can). He comes quietly in a still, small voice to our confused hearts.  Silently help comes to us, and silently the answers to our prayers glide down to us.  Not a shred of ostentation; no gaudy bows or ribbons.  When Jesus is ministering to someone who is in a horrible fix, he does it peaceably–quietly and calmly.  He is infinitely gentle.

It is significant that “the servants who had drawn the water knew”.  Often those who minister for Christ get to see his omnipotence and his power, they know it first-hand.  As a young man, I worked as a full-time evangelist in San Francisco.  I saw God change people! Addicts, gays and transvestites would often come for the Bible studies, and God would work and they were changed.  As you and I mature and step into service, we are privy to the work of Jesus.  We are no longer strangers but friends, and he lets us see his wonders for ourselves.  I have been allowed to see up close his workings in a twisted heart of a lost soul.  The water is turned into wine. I simply stand in awe.

The master of the feast did not know what had happened.  Is this not the same with us quite often?  We cannot explain where the blessings come from.  It happens quickly and quietly.  Look, over there, see the confused woman as she desperately seeks an intervention.  She sobs out in prayer, imploring the Lord for mercy.  Suddenly, through faith something happens, and it is completely supernatural.  And no trumpets sounded, for these are common, regular everyday miracles.

We drink the wine, but we don’t quite grasp the miracle.  But that’s okay.  Our limited understanding handles these quiet miracles and we will step into the light that grace leaves behind.  The water has become wine and we are changed as well, forever, by the quiet power of Jesus.

ybic, Bryan

The Miracle of Polaroid

I can distinctly remember seeing my first “instant” photo develop.  It was back in the dark ages of 1972.  It was a miracle!  Up to that time, you took pictures, but you had to wait a time for them to be processed.  It was an assumption that after a week you would finally receive those photos, developed and a bit expensive.

As I watched the Polaroid develop before my eyes, something happened to me.  Metaphorically a train was passing by, called technology, and I immediately jumped on board.  My family upbringing was pathetically poor, but that didn’t matter.  I was finally moving in a direction that made sense.  And we all were on a more equal footing.

Those early “instant” photos, starting from a glop of blue-grey would change into a pretty neat image, right before your eyes.  You did nothing, maybe you shook it in order to dry it quicker.  Within minutes something tangible would happen.  You would have a great photo of Uncle Willy.

I don’t want to be melodramatic, but I think we profoundly changed when we finally discovered the Polaroid instant camera.  Polaroid sold millions within months.  They couldn’t keep them in stores–they sold-out!  And yet, in retrospect it was just a baby-step into our technology of today.  Yet, it was the first step, and we would never be the same.

In the presence of the Lord God, we discover many moments like this.  He continually reveals himself in fresh and wondering ways.  He astonishes us with continually fresh and spiritually amazing ways.  As we come to know him, even deeper and more profound.  We stand in the driveway and watch our understanding develop.  It is a process that insists on staggering us.  He is not a novelty gadget, he is everlasting. We choose to wait on Him.