Coincidence — Or God's Works?

I try to attend worship on Sundays in two different churches: one at 9:30 a.m., where I sing in the choir, and another at 11:00 a.m. I had been asked to sing at the second service. During my daily devotions, I read about living water. Suddenly, the words "Come to the water" popped into my head. Hmm, what is the name of that song? Using an online application, I was able to discover that the name of the song was "For those tears I died". I immediately called the church organist and asked if he had the music for this song. Later in the week, we practiced the song, but it has an irregular rhythm, and it is difficult to sing. After practicing, I did not feel well prepared. Normally, I would have chosen something else to sing, but I really felt strongly that God wanted me to sing this song. There had been many losses — deaths and ill health — in this church, and I just felt God pushing me to share this message with the congregation.

I arrived at church for the 9:30 a.m. service — uncharacteristically early. I asked the organist what the choir was singing, and he replied that he had not yet chosen anything. I asked if he had the music for "For those tears I died". He did, and was pleased that I had volunteered to sing it. Before I sang, I shared with the congregation that I might stumble with this song, as I was not as well prepared as usual to sing it, nor was I planning to sing it for this congregation. Nevertheless, I felt God urging me to share this song. I shared that whenever we are going through a difficult period of loss, we feel alone and cry out to God, "Where are you?" This song responds that the Lord is standing right beside us. As I regarded the congregation, I saw numerous Kleenexes dabbing at eyes.

This is the first verse and chorus:

    You said You'd come and share all my sorrows, You said You'd be there for all my tomorrows; I came so close to sending You away, But just like You promised You came there to stay; I just had to pray! And Jesus said, "Come to the water, stand by My side, I know you are thirsty, you won't be denied; I felt ev'ry teardrop when in darkness you cried, And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died."        – Marsha Stevens

After I finished singing, the guest minister stood up and said, "I continue to be amazed at how God works. If I had searched for the perfect song to accompany today's sermon, that would have been it. Over thirty years ago, that was the first Christian song that I learned. It brought a tear to my eyes then, and did so again today." He went on to preach an incredible sermon about those times when we are in pain, and we cry out, "Where are You, God?"

When we are tempted to think, "That was a happy coincidence," we need to remember that God's grace is constantly intervening in our lives.

Isaiah 55:8-9 – "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (NKJV)

Even in times when we are experiencing periods of illness, loss, and difficulty, and God seems distant, let us trust that He is right there beside us every step of the way.

Prayer: Lord of all life, it is easy to find Your hand in the large aspects of life. When we search, we can find You in the small activities of each day, sometimes providing answers to unspoken prayers. Thank You for all the times when You find us a parking spot when we are running late. Thank You for the times when we think, "I don't think I can face the busyness of this afternoon", and a commitment is rescheduled for another day. Thank You for Your whispers that urge us in Your direction. Thank You — to make up for all of the times when we have neglected to say thanks for Your intervention and guidance in the minutia of our daily lives. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    Wonderful!


    Beautiful again Honey.


    That was so beautiful, Thank You


    Great story and challenge Orlanda.


    There is no such thing as coincidence in God’s world.


    I too have had some experiences like this. God does prompt them.


    Amen! And God bless you, Orlanda, as you continue to be a blessing to others.


    Amazing how God does stuff like this in our lives! Thanks for sharing. Blessings.


    Many thanks for those comforting words as I attend funerals this weekend. God bless.


    ‎ Most wonderful! Thanks for sharing. Keep the stories of God working among us flowing.


    Thank you for this heartfelt message. The Jews say that the word “coincidence” is just not kosher.


    Thank you for today’s devotional. It is a very good and inspiring message. Keep up the good works.


    Thank you, Orlanda, so meaningful and precious.
    Every blessing on your day.


    Thank you for that very inspirational and moving devotional.
    (Ontario)


    That was a very thoughtful devotional you shared today Orlanda.. Thank-you!
    (Ontario)


    What a beautiful story. Praise God – there are no coincidences as we well know. Thank you so much for sharing and reminding us that God is there to help us no matter how unprepared we feel we are to do His will.


    Dear Orlanda Drebit,
    This is a precious devotion of God’s providence.
    Keep writing.


    Thanks for your devotion.
    Friends and I have often remarked that many times it is not coincidence but it is God-incidence.
    God bless.


    Orlanda your devotional has very clearly brought out one of the greatest teachings about God’s faithfulness. He does NEVER deals in coincidences, for as His children, our very steps are planned. I can say with joyful assurance that I have lived this fact over and over, increasingly as I have become an ‘older’ senior citizen. What security and peace!!
    Thank you for this reminder of just one more truth about His faithfulness.


    Dear Orlanda, I am writing because a Presbyterian friend forwarded me the Daily Feed and your story about singing “For those tear I died”. Years ago I belonged to a singing group in a Presbyterian church and we recorded some of our favourite songs. I was the soloist for the piece “For Those tears I died”. I am so happy to hear that God continues to use that song and that you sang if when it was needed.
    (BC)


    I could so relate to your message today. First of all, that is one of my very favourite songs as well. Secondly, I am the one who often chooses the songs for our early (contemporary) service and I never cease to be amazed at how they are so often “bang on” as our minister once said. Thirdly, someone sent me an email this morning about how people send requests to God frequently but don’t say thank you very often. I really liked your prayer. Thanks for writing and keep on doing it.


    How timely is your contribution today ~~ everyday!
    So often it’s the words from Scripture and more often the words to a Hymn that will have so much meaning at that particular time.
    I barely can see, have to stop singing, my heart feels a huge wave of emotion.
    Surely God is near and has found me to bring me comfort. It’s very powerful and overwhelming at the same time.
    Thank you.


    Dear Olandra, Just wanted to tell you how much your devotional encouraged me today. I’ve been diagnosed with, what could be, a very serious illness. I have been a Christian since the early age of ten years old. So tonight, I was reading and studying online all about my illness and, at one point, got seriously scared for thinking about how I could die. And then, going through my email, I read your devotional. It reminded me of myself when I would often sing solos in church experiencing what you did because of how the Holy Spirit spoke to your heart and you obeyed Him only to realize that He was completely right about the song you selected to sing. Just to feel God’s blessing because of your obedience gave me such joyful memories when I had done the same! What you shared brought my thoughts back to the awesome God we serve, instead of dread over something that God is in complete control over! God bless you Olanda for being faithful!
    It blessed me so much in putting my perspective back on God!


    Orlanda,
    I too am a singer. And I totally agree about “co-incidence.”

    When my nephew’s son got married they wanted a totally secular, Hollywood style wedding. No religious stuff.
    I got am phone call. “The elderly friend who was going to say grace at the dinner is sick. You are the only one coming who is religious, will you do it? It is traditional to have a Grace.”
    I said yes but something made me say, “can I sing it?” He was a bit taken aback but said yes. I searched the net and found an 8 line grace under The Sound of Music to the tune of Edelweiss.
    And was that EVER a secular, very lavish, wedding! They even got someone to marry them who didn’t mention God once.
    Surveying the sort of crowd my nephew said, rather nervously, “Are you sure you want to do this” Yes. I had no qualms. And when I sang it, with no accompaniment, the room went totally silent. People came up afterwards and said how glad I had done this. The bride contacted me afterwards with a big thank you, even a year later talking about it.
    And I realized why. The song invited God to be present. I think that’s what He wanted. And a perfect song style for that type of wedding.
    I am going to look up your song, it sounds great.
    Thanks for sharing.


    Amen Orlanda. I first heard and learned to sing this song many, many years ago in a tiny congregation we were attending. I was living in a very hard situation and it became and still is one of my favourite songs. Thanks for reminding me of it this morning. And thanks for being in tune with the Spirit and singing it for that congregation that morning! I’m sure God touched many hearts that day.
    Blessings.


    Hi Orlanda,
    I have had it so many times, when leading in worship, that an anthem is sung which fits the theme of my sermon perfectly, even though it was quite often picked long before they knew what I was preaching about. Certainly not co-incidence.
    Thank you for writing.