Coincidences or God moments? You decide.
I started to call this, “Dead horses on the highway,” but I wasn’t sure anyone would read it. But that happened one time—Me and Bob and his parents were on our way home from Virginia after visiting his sister. We were making good time and decided to stop at a rest area to use the bathroom. We were only in there ten minutes tops, but when we came out and met at the car, one of my father-in-laws tires was completely flat. We couldn’t understand how that had happened so fast and were slightly annoyed (okay we were quite annoyed). It was hot that day and while me and Bob’s mom sat on the curb, he and his dad changed the tire. Back on the road maybe a mile or so, we hit traffic. We got to a horrible sight, a horse trailer had gotten involved in a wreck and there were dead horses on the highway. Without thinking, I blurted out, “If we hadn’t had that flat tire, we might have been right in the middle of this.” Now, I wasn’t a Christian at the time, in fact the only one in that car that was, was Bob’s mom. But I automatically felt the truth of my words, and I figured we were kept safe because of her. Looking back on it now, I think I had it backwards, we were kept safe because the three of us weren’t ready to go into eternity. Since then, both Bob and his dad have passed away but my dad led my father in law in the sinners prayer and Bob made his decision months before his death.
Bob and I hit a rough patch somewhere in the early 2000’s. We weren’t getting along very well and he would stop talking to me. The air in the house was tense; and I would have rather been alone than been in a house with someone who was going out of his way not to talk to me. So given the chance, I would pick going to church or to an outing to get away from it. The church had just started a Ladies Choir that I became a part of and we were invited to visit another church to sing. Bob made it known he wasn’t thrilled with me going, and I didn’t know until pretty much the last minute if I would attend. I would have to leave straight from work to meet everyone at the church parking lot so we could make the hour drive to the place we were going to sing at. That morning before work, I got up to take a mile walk and while I was doing that, a song popped into my head. Now, Contemporary Christian songs and hymns make their way into my mind all the time, but this one wasn’t one I would normally think of. In fact, I couldn’t remember another time when I had thought of it, although I’d heard people sing it. After I came back from my walk, Bob and I got into a bad fight about my going out that night. Still, I left for work, not totally sure if I’d go with them or just go home. But as the day wore on, I decided I was going to go to sing with the choir. My feeling was—why go home where we would either just have a bad fight or I would be ignored completely, when I could go enjoy myself singing with these ladies I had come to love? When we got there, another group that consisted of the lady who played piano for us and two brothers got up to sing first. One of the brothers asked the lady to sing a song she had written. As she adjusted the microphone, she told us, “John wants me to sing a song I wrote; but I really feel impressed upon by the Lord to sing this other song instead.” I will never forget the feeling of awe I experienced when she proceeded to sing the song that had been so strongly on my mind that morning during my walk! I just knew that God was going to work everything out! And as it turned out, Bob and I would stay up half the night after I got home talking things out and working towards repairing our rift. I told him about the song and he asked what I thought it meant. I told him, “God wanted to let me know He knew exactly where I was and what I was going through.”
Another song popped into my head one Friday; I was battling depression but the song, Amazing Grace, kept playing in my mind. When I got to church Sunday morning, our pastor had a guest speaker in (I don’t remember this man’s name and I don’t think he was ever back). I couldn’t tell you what he preached about, but when he gave the altar call, I went up for prayer because I was still struggling. Others were up there and he would go to each one, ask them what their need was and pray accordingly. As this was going on, my pastor had gone over to the organ and started playing the melody of Amazing Grace, which of course, I noticed immediately. The speaker came over to me, never asked me what my need was, put his hand on top of my head, sang the first verse to Amazing Grace and walked away! He never did “officially” pray for me, but I knew God had done a work as only He could.
November 2010 was a bad month. My sister went missing on November 8th, we were alerted of it when she didn’t show up for work. I couldn’t get in touch with her and we didn’t know where she was. Meanwhile, Bob’s back pain was getting worse. During that week, as I prayed to find out the whereabouts of my sister, I got the clear impression that she had gotten saved and was at peace with the Lord, which was reassuring but didn’t answer my question as to where she was. As the week went on and still we didn’t hear from her, I knew it was looking ominous. Sunday, November 14, as I laid in bed, I thought about the story in the bible about the three Hebrew boys, Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego and how the Lord was in the fire with them. I felt like me and Bob were in a “fire” ourselves, with his increasing pain and the mystery of what happened to my sister, but I also felt reassured that like them, we weren’t alone. I went out into the living room, where Bob was laying on the couch watching John Hagee on TV. I told him what I had been thinking about. As I got ready to go to a morning service, we continued to watch the television service he had been watching. Usually when Pastor Hagee would finish his preaching, Bob would change the channel, but he left it on for the ending prayer. When that was over, John Hagee looked into the camera and said, “You may feel like you’re all alone, but just like God was with the three Hebrew boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, you’re not alone.” Yeah, both our mouths dropped open. Later that afternoon, we’d get the answer about my sister. The police up in New York called my dad and informed him that they believed she was deceased. We had to leave to go to Staten Island early the next morning to identify her and unfortunately it was her. Dad and I talked later on and he told me that when he’d gotten off the phone with the police on Sunday that he’d felt momentarily worried but that he sensed the Holy Spirit tell him, “Don’t worry she’s with me,” which confirmed what I knew from four days earlier. Yeah God was with us!
The last one I want to share with you might seem small in comparison to the others, but to me, it is sweet in it’s simplicity. A couple of weeks before Bob passed away, when we knew all treatments were failing and there weren’t too many options left, I was sitting outside at the picnic table under my apple tree. I was crying out to God, asking Him, “do You even care what’s happening here? Do You even know?” I said, “if You know where we are, send someone by and I’ll know You’ve heard me.” I expected to get a call from someone from church (which shows I had faith that He had heard me, by the way). I went in the house, opened my laptop and looked at my email. There, I found a message from one of my former managers, who I hadn’t worked for in quite some time. I had never gotten anything from her that was of a personal nature, but the whole of the email was of her concern for me, to let me know that she was thinking of me, and wanted me to know it! As I thought about it later, I realized that if someone from church had called or stopped by I could have passed it off as a coincidence, but this was certainly not, this was out of the ordinary.
The cynics among us will say they were all coincidences; the believers will say they were all God moments and I think you already know where I stand on the issue! But it’s up to you, feel free to believe what you want. But I just wanted to share these stories with you, there might be some one among you that needed to know, God hears and He cares!