Spiritually Speaking – September 2021

“Who knows, maybe it was for such a time as this that you were made a queen!”
Esther 4:14

Coincidences

Let me tell you about a woman named Esther whose story is recorded in the Old Testament. She was a beautiful Jewish woman who one day was noticed by King Xerxes of Persia. Later he made her his wife, and so she became the Queen of Persia.

Later a guy by the name of Haman decided he wanted to get rid of all the Jews in Persia, much like what Adolf Hitler decided to do a few thousand years later. So he developed this big scheme whereby he could accomplish that very thing. Then one of the Jewish men named Mordecai found out about the plan and went to Queen Esther for help. He pleaded with her to go to the king and to intercede with the king on behalf of the Jews. Part of his plea for her was, “Who knows, maybe it was for a time like this that you were made a queen!”

In other words, maybe it’s not just a coincidence that you wound up being the Queen of King Xerxes! Maybe it’s not just a random serendipity that came along and just happened! If you read the entire book of Esther in the Bible, it doesn’t take long until you realize that that’s exactly the case.

What about coincidences anyway? Are they just random serendipities that pop up here and there, just one-in-a-billion chances that actually occur? Or are they something far more than maybe most of us have ever even considered or realized before?
“No coincidence is just a coincidence.
It is only God’s way of remaining anonymous!”
Bernie Siegel, M.D.—Retired Pediatric Surgeon and Writer

Several years ago, two women who didn’t know one another were sitting together on the same row at the Crystal Cathedral out in Southern California. At one point early in the service, Dr. Schuller asked everyone there to turn around and greet one another. And, so these two women who had never met before—did just that.

The service proceeded, and they didn’t interact with one another anymore. It was the first time for both of them to visit the Cathedral, and they were anxious to hear Dr. Shuller preach. But, after the service was over—while they were waiting to get out into the aisle, they struck up a little conversation with each other.

“Are you from around here?” the older woman asked. The younger woman said, “No, I’m just visiting. This is my first time to see California. I’m looking for my birth mother who put me up for adoption years ago when I was just a few days old.”

The older woman said, “That’s interesting. Many years ago, I actually had a little baby girl myself, and I couldn’t take care of her because I was so young. I had to put her up for adoption, and I’ve often wondered whatever happened to her.” The young woman looked at her and said, “My, what a coincidence!”

All of a sudden, this strange feeling came over the young woman, and she started getting tears in her eyes. She opened her mouth, but nothing came out. Finally she said, measuring her words very slowly, “What’s your name?” And the older woman who had tears in her eyes by now told her. “Yes, you’ve guessed it.”

That older woman was the younger woman’s mother, and they had never seen each other in all of those years…until they just happened to sit next to each other in the Crystal Cathedral in Southern California!

Maybe coincidences aren’t just coincidences after all. Maybe they’re expressions of something really deep and wonderful taking place in our lives—and most of us don’t realize it at all.

There’s a Guiding Hand in your life and mine that many of us never realize is there—God himself, working quietly and invisibly and wonderfully behind-the-scenes of our lives, helping us and blessing us, and doing everything He can to make us happy and fulfilled. What a shame it is—when we never get out of the way and yield our lives to Him, and let Him do for us what He so deeply wants to do.

Let me tell you something—God’s hand is not only on the life of this church, but it rests gently upon your shoulder and mine too. If we’ll just open our eyes a little more fully—and pay attention to the little subtleties of our lives (especially to the coincidences), I believe we’ll begin to realize how wonderfully blessed we are—and how wonderfully cared for as well. We really aren’t alone after all. And—our coincidences aren’t just coincidences either. Amen!

The Reverend Dr. Norman Neaves
Church of the Servant—Oklahoma City, OK