This post is somewhat different than my other posts. For a month and a half I have been pondering something a friend mentioned to me.
My friend told me she went to lunch with a Christian woman. This Christian woman was talking about how she had felt sick; her friend suggested probiotics; how she felt so much better since taking them; and then she added, “It is a God thing.” This made my friend uncomfortable - that this Christian woman thinks God is involved with how her bowels operate. Ha ha. Sounds so funny.
I started thinking how often I say that very thing – “It’s a God thing.” (Or a variance of “What a blessing!”) It just rolls off my tongue and is very natural for me to say. I see God’s hand in my life. I experience it all the time. I ask God to be part of my life. I carry little conversations on with God. I try to listen to Him and obey Him. I love Him. I talk to God throughout my day and I have a relationship with Him. But it wasn’t always like that.
I remember early on when I first joined a small group (a Bible study group), a woman saying she doesn’t believe in coincidences. She thinks God’s hand is in everything. I even remember who said this because this was so contrary to my thinking at the time! I didn’t think of God being involved in every aspect of my life. I believed in coincidences.
Years later during another study the same thing came up with regards to God’s sovereignty. We had a genuine conversation (which is one of the things I love about the groups I have been in) about if God was involved in all parts of our life - even the little things and even when the bad things happen and how He is involved.
Since my conversation with my friend, I have been pondering my journey and the many times I have experienced God. I can think of so many examples of asking God to help if it is His will and me experiencing that help. Even in the little things. Here are just a couple of those little things:
At work I had thousands of pictures on my computer and one day they all duplicated. I asked other people for help. No one knew why. I deleted all the extra copies which was very time-consuming. The next day the same thing happened. The third day driving to work I had a conversation with God which went something like this: “God, I know this is a First World Problem. No biggie in the scheme of things. But these pictures duplicating is driving me crazy. Please help me to figure out how to make it stop if it is Your will.” The computer never again duplicated pictures. Smile.
I recently was searching for my ancestor’s 1806 log cabin several states away. I prayed about finding it. I debated whether to try to see the cabin on a Friday and visit a relative on Saturday or vice versa. I decided to try to locate the cabin on Friday. Not only did I find someone who could show me where the cabin was (in the middle of nowhere up several dirt roads), the woman who owned the cabin was visiting for the weekend and asked if I wanted to see the inside. I immediately thanked God. It was a beautiful sunny fall day and I got some wonderful pictures. The next day was rainy and cold and ugly. I knew it was a God thing.
I know there are a lot of people who think these types of occurrences are coincidences. But I know they are God. The longer you are in a relationship with God you just recognize Him. When you experience over and over God providing for you, you just come to know Him. The perfect person walks into your life just as you need them. Someone says the right thing at the right moment to encourage you. You witness human kindness at the moment you are greatly lacking it. Once I was outside and I was upset about something and praying about it and suddenly a hummingbird flew around my head and then hovered in the air. It made me smile and I immediately thanked God. He knows how much I love hummingbirds.
Don’t get me wrong. God is not some genie we can ask things and get our wish. Things don’t always work out the way I would like them to work out. But I have come to trust the Lord. He knows what is best for me. And for you. A perfect example is a woman in my old small group had been out of work for quite awhile. She was starting to run out of money and beginning to really worry. We prayed and prayed for her. She had some interviews, but nothing panned out. Then she had an interview for a really good job that she wanted and we prayed for her to get it if it was His will. She didn’t get it and was clearly disappointed. We kept on praying and trusting that God would provide for her. Shortly afterwards she got the most incredible perfect job. A German company hired her (she spoke fluent German) – good pay, full time, benefits - and they sent her to Germany for training. Her brother lived in Germany and she hadn’t seen him in many years! Had she been offered and accepted the job she wanted, she would not have even applied for this job. And what a blessing to be able to see her brother and his family! It certainly was a God thing.
I have so many experiences of God’s plan being different than what I was asking and His plan being the better one! Always!
Someone keeps telling me that “things always work out for the best.” That isn’t really what the Bible says. Romans 8:28 says And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,… Get that? To those who love God. And what is the “good” God will cause to happen? Verse 29 tells us it is to become conformed to the image of His Son. In other words, the "good" is for us to become more like Jesus. So what we think is good and what He knows is good for us may not be the same thing. Christians still have really bad things happen to them – cancer, the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, a spouse who leaves them, etc.… but we have the assurance that God is in control and will be with us through it. It is that peace that surpasses all understanding.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 (NASB)
That peace is a real thing. I experience it now in a way I didn’t years ago. I sort of trusted God before. I do trust God now. (The majority of the time anyways. I still sometimes try to fix things on my own. He's still working on me.) I think that trust comes from just walking with Him day in and day out. I believe He can do anything He wants with my life and I want Him to be my Lord. I believe most Christians want a Savior. They aren’t too sure about the Lord thing. When I surrendered my life to God the first time, I wanted a Savior. When I surrendered my life 15 years ago to Him, I wanted Him to be my Savior and my Lord. I asked Him to take over. He has. And wow! It is way better than when I was trying to run the show.
So back to my friend and her friend who said that taking probiotics was a “God thing.” That makes me smile again typing that. When Christians say “It’s a God thing,” they truly believe it. God cares about every aspect of our lives. Yes, even our digestive systems.
We really don't have any idea the wonderful things God is doing behind the scenes in our lives. We only notice a few. It reminds me of what John Piper said that is so very true:
And one day when my sweet friend tells me a story and says, “It is a God thing”; I will dance with joy and celebrate with her!
Let me leave you with this beautiful poem, Life is But a Weaving:
He is working in your life. You aren't even aware of most of it. Trust Him. He knows what He is doing.
[Please note that while this meme attributes this poem to Corrie ten Boom she says at the beginning of her book, Tramp for the Lord, (affiliate link), that this poem she shares has an anonymous author. This poem is not hers. Tramp for the Lord is an excellent book - well worth reading. It is about Corrie ten Boom's travels around the world in the years after she was released from the concentration camp. Very powerful.]