I don’t normally write articles during the wee hours of the morning. In fact, I don’t normally write articles. But since I can’t seem to sleep, this seems a good use of my time. It is 3 a.m. and I am still reviewing in my mind some events from last evening and pondering with awe at how God uses divine connections and timing to meet the needs of people. Let me explain.
I suppose I should begin by explaining the events that are still fresh in my memory. Picture this: It is Sunday evening. I have just finished teaching at my home church, something I have done for the past three years. The service went well, the people have dispersed, and I am planning to take my husband out for ice cream – sort of a “date night”. Then the pastor asked to talk with me, and we talk – for 30 minutes – while my husband waits patiently in the car. My schedule has been delayed. This is not how I pictured my evening going. When I get to the car, I find my husband comfortably reclined and listening to the radio. Time to leave; he turns the key and, you guessed it, dead battery. Good thing the pastor has not yet left. He helps us get the car started. Another delay to my schedule. Finally, we are off. My plan is to visit a new ice cream place in a neighboring town – about a ten minute drive. Nothing noteworthy about the drive, just normal conversation between a couple married for 28 years. As we enter the neighboring town, I glance down a side street and notice that someone appears to have a bonfire inside their garage. Wait! A bonfire INSIDE their garage?! This is not right. In an urgent voice I ask my husband to turn around. Once parked outside this garage, I exit the car, race up the steps to the house and start pounding on the door. The owner comes to the door, sees the flames, and rolls into action. In less than five minutes, he has moved his car out of the garage, my husband has moved a trailer out of the driveway, a garden hose has been used to douse the flames, another passerby has dialed 911, and the fire is almost out before the first responders arrive. It happened so fast.
Reflecting on the events, I considered the following things: Lots of other cars drove down the same road as we did and no one stopped. If we had not been delayed by the pastor and the dead battery, we would have passed that area before there were ever any flames to notice. If we had taken much longer to stop, the small propane tank surrounded by those flames would have exploded spreading the fire to neighboring houses. If we had gone to the closet ice cream place, we never would have been on that road. My point is this: I believe God put us in the right place at the right time to make a difference. We are not heroes, my husband and I. We are ordinary people like you. I just happen to believe we serve a God who delights in using ordinary people to positively impact the lives of others.
Needless to say, the owner of that garage was very thankful that we had stopped. We were able to give the glory to God, and then we parted ways. We will likely never see that man or his wife again; yet, during those few minutes on a Sunday evening God orchestrated a divine connection for the man’s benefit. I doubt the man will forget that God showed up on his behalf.
God is in the business of intervening on man’s behalf. He always has been. Take a minute to consider the number of times a “coincidence” with no reasonable explanation has occurred in your life. God is alive and well and looking out for people just as he has been since the beginning of time.