Has something ever happened to you and you thought, “Wow, what a coincidence!” Happens to me all the time. What I have noticed, however, is that most times they are not mere coincidences. They are lessons.
Sometimes lessons are so subtle that if we are not paying attention we miss them, but every now and then we ask ourselves, “Was I supposed to learn something from this?” For me most of the time the answer is yes! This week was a prime example of that.
A couple of days ago I went to the store to buy a few necessities. Payday was still a few days away so I had to be wise with the little bit of money I had on hand. Many times we confuse our “wants” with our “needs” and I had that in mind when I set my sight on a bag of potato chips. I enjoy a good potato chip! Of course it was right there as soon as you walk into the store, so I had the entire time at the store to think about that bag of chips. Although my desire was great, I decided I better wait because I had to buy other items in order to make sure my son had something for dinner for the next couple of days. I left the store without the bag of chips.
After I got home it was time to get ready for bible study. In lieu of our usual routine, our group had decided to get together and help out a couple that is in the midst of a total house renovation. They need a lot of assistance as they have a newborn and have to get things repaired and cleaned before they move in. We joyfully pitched in and enjoyed some snacks that were brought. One of the snacks was none other than a bag of chips! Needless to say I dug right in. When it was time to go home the friend that brought the chips said, “Maribel, take these home. I don’t want them.” Lo and behold, I got my chips…for free!
Yesterday I had a similar scenario at work. We received an email that in honor of St. Patrick’s Day there was a mint chocolate candy bar in our staff mailbox. I love chocolate more than chips! I immediately sent out a thank you email and couldn’t wait until I checked my mailbox. That candy bar would be a great supplement to my lunch. I was excited to go pick up my candy bar. My excitement was short lived though because when I checked I didn’t have one. I received the email but apparently was not one of the intended recipients. I was disappointed.
Later on in the day a co-worker who had gone to a meeting that I was unable to attend called and asked me if I had a minute because she brought back some information to share with me. When she came to my office she handed me a couple of brochures, a pen, and a York Peppermint Patty – the same type of candy bar that was supposed to be in my mailbox!
Now I need to make an addition. As I was writing this I took a coffee break. I didn’t bring breakfast with me this morning, and was actually craving Ritz crackers (another one of my favorite snacks). I made the coffee, went to chat with a coworker, and what did she have right there on the corner of her desk? A pack of Ritz crackers! She told me to help myself. She had no idea what an impact that had on me, and what a confirmation it gave me.
I refuse to believe that these incidents are mere coincidences. I was supposed to learn a lesson, or be reminded of lessons I already know. Psalm 37:4 states, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Matthew 6 encourages us to not worry excessively about the every day cares of life. Instead, we ought to put God above all else because we have His assurance that He will take care of our every need. Philippians 4:6 tells us to “…not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”