Some years ago, a friend of mine was over 2,000 miles away on holiday in Asia, walking along the shore of a lake. In the distance he saw a man bending down on the sand. When he got closer, he realised that this man was one of his work colleagues! Coincidentally, I once read a newspaper article about that same lake. A man from south London had also gone on holiday there. When he visited the lake, he was amazed to see a wheelie bin (wheeled trash can) from his own London borough, 2,000 miles away, floating in the water!
Do coincidences happen to you? Coincidences are sometimes sent by our Creator to get our attention and to spark our curiosity. He reveals Himself just enough to make us seek after Him, because the prize of knowing Him comes to those who put the effort in to find Him.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Jeremiah 29:13 (NIVUK)
So, back to coincidences. Our local television news programme covers a region of approximately 11,000 square miles, including coast and mountains, cities and villages, theatres and universities, industry and sport. Yet on the same night last week it ran two different reports from the same town, each about a different senior citizens’ care home.
A 99th birthday party was being held at one of the homes. It was for a D-Day veteran; one of the many thousands, who stormed the beaches of Normandy. During the interview he was asked if he had any words of wisdom. His reply: “Do to others the way you like people doing it to you. There’s nothing better than that.” Whether he knew it or not, he was quoting the words of Jesus.
At the second care home, the story was very different. The building had caught fire, and 150 people had been evacuated. At the height of the fire, sixteen fire appliances were in attendance. Before the fire brigade arrived however, three local men had gone into the burning building, kicking down doors and helping bring some of the elderly residents to safety. The veteran’s wise words were brought to life by the heroism of these three men.
None of us can be certain about our future. Will we finish our days here in a care home? Who knows? Will the end of our earthly life be a celebration or a tragedy? Our Creator loves us deeply, and He invites us to a celebration, but will we accept? I hope we will. As Jesus said:
“Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
Our Creator is only a prayer away.