By Chance or Planned?

ProvidenceDo you believe in God’s providence? The word providence means God directing the affairs of humans with wisdom and benevolence, a manifestation of divine care or direction. It always interests me when I am aware when this is occurring. Often, it is in hindsight that I begin to acknowledge His hand in the events of my life. Let me tell you about two such situations.

Last year, I attended a gathering in our community and noticed a lady confined to a wheelchair kept looking my way. Afterward, she summoned me to her side, and recognizing that I had written a book on Alzheimer’s, she asked me to come visit her soon to tell me about it. Upon realizing she lived in our local nursing home, one afternoon I arranged a visit.

Although bedridden most of the time, she was a very upbeat woman who had a steady stream of friends dropping by. Truly, a people magnet, I surmised. One woman in particular, who lived in another town, had also stopped in for a visit. She also seemed interested in my book, so I briefly told her about it and she bought a copy. That was the end of that, so I thought.

Maybe a year passed and I was in a season of praying that God would open more opportunities for me to speak to women’s groups. A phone call came in shortly after that asking me to speak at their church gathering in March. I gladly accepted, pleased by the invitation but wondered how this church in a town a half hour away had heard of me. “By the way,” I asked, “how do you happen to know that I speak to groups?”

“Oh,” she said, “one of the ladies from our church had been visiting a friend in the Sturgis nursing home and bought one of your books. Several of us have read it and decided we would like to have you speak to us on our identity in Christ.”

Providence…Ps. 135:6 Whatever the Lord pleases, He does…..

Recently, a friend and I attended a conference in another church. For some reason, I was sensing a need to go to a conference and spend a day gleaning from God’s Word. It really didn’t matter to me what the subject was, I just hoped to meet God in a fresh way. While I was there, I began to sense that I wasn’t there just for that purpose but that God had some connections He wanted me to make. He gave me several opportunities to minister to people but one in particular stood out. In an animated conversation, I told a lady about the jail ministry I do on Sundays. Intrigued, she listened attentively as I shared stories of the response of the inmates as they hear about Jesus and His love for them.

A few weeks later, I received an email from this lady. She was interested in joining our team in jail ministry. I wondered…if I hadn’t been at that conference, she wouldn’t have known about jail ministry and an opportunity might have been missed.

Providence… Prov.16:9 The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. 

God loves to network people to accomplish his plans. In both of these stories, He set up situations where I could connect with people. His divine intervention is crucial to His destiny for my life. Not coincidence…but planned.

Do you have a story of God’s providence? Email it to me.


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