Sunday, February 05, 2006

"If I had not a..."

(English teachers, please forgive me…)

Can you remember times when you said, “If I had not a…” as in “If I had not a gone to work this way…” or “If I had not a been there…” or “If I had not a called her when I did…” and then realized the “great outcome” that came from your actions?

Some times we simply call these things “coincidence” and think them merely happenstance. Someone once said that “coincidence is when God acts, but prefers to remain anonymous.” I like that.

If, in Acts 14, and especially verses 5-7, Paul and Silas had not been in fear of their lives (as they were many times) they would not have traveled to Lystra and Derbe. And, if they “had not a” gone there and preached, they would not have planted the seed that resulted in what they found when they went back nearly 5 years later - namely Timothy!

Don’t think of your days as being controlled by mere chance - think of them as more like “cogs on a wheel” that are designed by God. Look for God’s hand in your life - and you’ll surely see it!

Father, I pray for all who are reading this devotional, that they would indeed see Your hand in their lives. Touch them where they live, in their homes, in the schools, in the office, in the fields, and in the very arena of their lives. May they actually look for Your presence and feel Your Spirit within their lives.

May they pause this morning and listen for Your voice directing and setting the course for their footsteps this day, and every day. I pray for those whose lives they touch and for those who will touch their lives - for their spouses and children, their colleagues, their friends, and yes, even those who represent difficulties.

Lift them Father, in word, in spirit, and in an understanding that You are in control, and You are everywhere they are and everywhere they go and You even control the end results so that they can say, “If I had not a…” and know, “Thus directed the Lord…”

In Jesus’ name - Amen


Blogger John said...

Good thought.

It is so hard to see the hand of God in the worst of times, but for all that I have lost, I have gained so much. Because I have been broken, I shall be able to heal people as a pastor that otherwise I could not.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Betty Newman said...

Wow John! That SO touched my heart!

I wrote that from a series of incidents that happened last week that could (by others) be called "coincidence." We, however, saw them as the hand of God. But what I wrote seems so lightweight compared to what you heard.

Thank you for reminding me that we all hear God from "where we are."


8:11 AM  
Anonymous Lorna said...

I just read a short article on regrets. Your devotional here brought it back for which I'm grateful.

I do have regrets, and it's time to turn those into repentance, forgive where there is unforgiveness on my part - and move on. Not stay stuck in the "if only I hadn't ...."

blessings and thanks

11:01 AM  

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