I woke up this morning to the sound of a snow plow clearing the road outside my house. "It's about time," I thought. We just experienced the first significant snow fall of the years.
A few minutes later, I settled in my favorite lounge chair to read a daily devotional from Sarah Young's book, Jesus Calling. The last sentence in the reading for that day read, "Hold My hand in deliberate dependence on Me, and I will smooth out the path before you."
Coincidence? I think not.
Depending on God to Intercede
Honestly, I have not been very good over the years holding God's hand in deliberate dependence on Him. Many times it was more of a grasping for His hand when I really needed help or I needed His intercession for someone else's problems. And I am still a work on progress.
Thinking back, however, I can recall instances when the road ahead of me looked pretty intimidating with personal and professional challenges. Metaphorically speaking, I was looking at a steep road ahead with seemingly insurmountably high snowdrifts. But some how, I survived and even benefited in unexpected ways from those challenges as certain people and events entered the situation.
God Smooths a Path Before Us
In retrospect, I can very easily picture God, with His awesome power, steering a snow plow in front of me, "smoothing out the path before me," and applying those people and events to my challenges.
I like how the King James version of 43:16-19 amplifies this vision.
"Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; they shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."
Tips for Seeing God at Work in Your Life
Find a quiet time and place and look back at your life, perhaps the past 10, 15, 20 years. Have a piece of paper and pencil in hand. Recall two or three times when you were facing difficulties in your personal life or career, and despite your worries and fears, things turned out better than you expected.
What benefits did you ultimately experience because of the way things turned out? Were there unexpected opportunities that emerged, new doors that opened, or dismissed opportunities that reemerged? Describe how they benefited you.
What individuals had a positive influence on the situations? Why do you think they had a positive influence? Does anything now surprise you about their effects on the positive outcome? How and why?
What events positively influenced the outcomes? Why do you think the events paved the way for things to work out okay? Does anything surprise you about the circumstances surrounding the timing and effects of the events? How and why.
Do you recall praying about the challenges you faced, asking the Lord for help and direction? Did you exercise "deliberate dependence on God? Whether or not you did, consider what role God may have played in arranging people and events to influence the outcome.
Meditate on what you concluded from this activity and ask yourself how you will look for God's working in your life in real time, as it occurs. An excellent tool to help you chronicle the parade of people and events God brings into your life is a daily journal.
Listen to God's Words
The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly. (Isaiah 60:22)
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
Also read: Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 54:17, 1 Corinthians 10:13
In the Words of Others
“Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.” Albert Einstein
“Coincidences are spiritual puns.” G.K. Chesterton
“Over every mountain there is a path, although it may not be seen from the valley.” Theodore Roethke
“I did my best and God did the rest.” Hattie McDaniel