I had occasion to walk into a nearby business establishment on Thursday, and while I was waiting to speak with the person I came to see, I was making small talk with the receptionist. Over the course of about five minutes of conversation, I told her that I am a pastor (something I don’t mention in every casual chat, since it is off-putting for some people). When I said this, her face lit up. She mentioned that she was a preacher’s kid herself, and had spent her life in the church. She then told me about a ministry that she has, which provides assistance for abused women who need to find shelter and begin a new life away from their abusers.
She spoke about the volume of donations of goods of various sorts that she receives to help these women get a fresh start on life – so many donations, in fact, that she can’t make adequate use of them all.
She asked me, “You do outreach, don’t you, in your church?” I nodded in the affirmative. “You have been sent here for a purpose. I believe everything happens for a purpose.”
I must admit that the purpose for which I had come to the business was not quite what she was describing to me, but I surmised that I would be able to accomplish both purposes – hers and mine – in the course of this visit. We talked a bit further after I finished the task for which I had first walked through the door, and I went back to work, now armed with contact information for her and a challenge to help distribute these goods to those most in need.
This got me thinking, though: indeed, everything does happen for a purpose. I don’t believe in coincidences. Instead, I call them “God-incidences”, since I believe that the Lord brings people and circumstances into our lives for his good purposes – for our benefit, and often for the benefit of others.
Take some time to ponder: whether anybody has pointed it out or not, what are some “God-incidences” that have happened in your life lately? What serendipitous events have been part of your day for which God may have been seeking to do his good purposes in you, for you, through you? Why not take 5 to think about that in God’s presence right now?
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8.28, NIV).