Charles Spurgeon once said something along the lines of, “When I pray coincidences happen, when I do not pray, they don’t.” Knowing Spurgeon, this quip is certainly a tongue-in-cheek statement about a deeper truth. Simply: God answers prayer and He is involved in the daily lives of His followers and in His creation.
Today, I have had the opportunity to experience such a day of this important reminder. Twice today in visiting homes we have shown up literally minutes after 1) someone came home from the hospital and 2) another individual was returning from an out of town funeral. Another visit (sparing details for privacy) included an amazing testimony of God’s Providence with a family we have long been praying for. In one visit, I commented on a stack of old books, noting one particular book. It was small with an old falling apart leather board cover. The owner of the book commented, “I feel like you should have this.” Generally (due to our cultural custom) I refuse such an offer and attempted to this time as well but finally bent to insistence. Upon returning to my office my initial research confirmed what I first thought, “this is an old Baptist hymnal” but on a much grander scale. It is the oldest Southern Baptist Convention hymnal published by Basil Manley in 1850. That was just amazing.
When returning home from the office I felt prompted not only to run, but to go to the nearby Georgia Baptist Children’s Home where I “just so happened” to start jogging last week. Then, after making my first turn, my face was full of a beautiful rainbow arcing over the top of the chapel on the grounds. I ran to retrieve my phone (which was on my car roof keeping time). When I stopped the watch the minutes froze at “3:16” (okay, a seeming stretch, but humor me). After snapping my picture I continued on a peaceful jog including one of the most beautiful sunsets this side of Pine Mountain I’ve ever seen. When I returned to my car, I was welcomed by a deputy. I thought to myself, “oh well, a few jogs and that’s it. . .” As I began collecting my explanation about a local pastor trespassing on Georgia Baptist convention grounds he simply asked, “are you okay?” I said, “sir?” He said, “are you okay?” And then (quite winded) I responded, “Oh yes, just finishing a jog. . . my name is John (quickly adding) I’m the pastor at Meansville Baptist Church. . .” To which he responded, “I’m David, a deputy, I was just coming up here to do some reading. . .” To which he held aloft his Bible, smiled, and parked on the hill overlooking the highway.
Yes, that was my day full of not-so-coincidental coincidences. Oh yeah, and today? Today is one year to the date of our first Sunday at Meansville Baptist Church and one week to the day before our first mission trip with said church. Is God involved in the daily lives of his followers and His creation? Today, coincidences happened.