Tag Archive for God’s Mysterious Ways

Divine Coincidence

“Speak, for Your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10, NASB)

Have you discovered that Almighty God wants to take part in your daily work? Here’s one example from my own experience.

Matching a hymn text with the right tune can be tricky, painstaking business. But years ago I began receiving tune ideas from the Lord. Sometimes I would hear an original tune in my head. Other times I would feel prompted toward a folk or classical tune in one of my sources. I would set the tune aside in my “pending” pile, put it out of my mind, and go on with my work.

Then within days the Lord would give me a lyric idea separately, from my Bible study or from an audio book I was listening to. Sometimes it happened the other way around. The text idea would come first, then the tune.

What was amazing was how often I’d find the perfect match for the text or tune there near the top of my “pending” file. I had forgotten about the first one until the second showed up and I went looking for a mate. The two had come to me entirely separately, though in the same time frame.

At first, I considered it mere coincidence. But it began to happen so regularly that I coined a term for it: divine coincidence.

But it wasn’t just texts and tunes that came together so marvelously. Often a thought or scripture would come to me from my daily reading or listening that was exactly what I needed for some current writing endeavor. I hadn’t gone looking for it. It just jumped out at me.

Some would explain such phenomenon as the subconscious working of the mind. And I can’t claim to explain all the workings of this amazing brain the Lord has given us.

But God regularly uses divine coincidence to remind me that He deeply, personally, constantly cares about my daily activities. My work is His work, and He doesn’t abandon me to it. He works beside me all day, every day. The Spirit of the sovereign, almighty, universal God works through me. He will work through you as well. How wonderful is that!

Father, all our work is Your work. Keep us open. Keep us listening. Keep us dependent on You.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21, NASB)

Father, though I am small,
weak, and
O so brief,
You are almighty,
all-wise, and
As I trust You,
You accomplish Your beautiful purpose
through me.

Hymn: God’s Mysterious Ways

Details Matter

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m reading through the Old Testament in the original Hebrew. But my Hebrew skills are rudimentary at best, so some portions of the Old Testament are quite challenging.

For example, I had trouble getting through 1 Kings 6 and 7. They describe in some detail Solomon’s construction of the temple and his own palace. The subject matter necessitates the use of numerous technical terms that I didn’t know. Add to that my own limitations: I barely know which end of a hammer to hold, and I can’t picture physical structures from verbal descriptions. I have to see them with my own two eyes. So for a zillion verses, I struggled through words I didn’t know to try to picture structures I just couldn’t picture. For me, it seemed an extended exercise in frustration and futility.

But such details matter. 1 Kings 6 and 7 remind me of Exodus, chapters 25 and following, which provide seemingly-endless detail about the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness. There God specifically warns Moses:

“See that you make them after the pattern for them, which was shown you on the mountain.” (Exodus 25:40, NASB)

By the time I finished Exodus, I began to understand the importance of those details, even without the ability to accurately picture them in my mind. I could see that each of the details in the tabernacle were given by God to help the people know Him. Each of the furnishings – the candles, the incense, the bread, the curtains, the ark, and more – provided the worshipers with a sensory experience of God, however partial. In a sense, God was “incarnating” Himself in the tabernacle, making Himself physically knowable centuries before Christ. He was glorifying Himself, proclaiming His presence, His greatness, and His goodness in ways perceivable by our five senses.

Thus, details matter. They mattered in the building of the tabernacle. They mattered in the construction of the temple.

And they matter in my work as well. As a hymn writer, I can’t see God’s full purpose in the work I do. I can’t see the end from the beginning. But He can, so I carefully follow His lead. I am like Bezalel, who worked on the tabernacle (Exodus 31:1-11), and Hiram, who helped construct the temple (1 Kings 7:13-14). They were craftsmen, gifted, prepared, and called by God to perform specific tasks as a small part of God’s greater purpose.

That is my role as well. In ways I didn’t plan and can’t imagine, God is using me, in some small way, to glorify Himself through Jesus Christ.

And that is your role, too. Aren’t we blessed? Each of us is a tiny part of all the marvelous, eternal, creative work God is doing in Jesus Christ. 

Listen and sing:
Hymn: God’s Mysterious Ways
Printed Music & Lyrics


[Jesus told His disciples:]
You will be handed over to the local councils and
flogged in the synagogues.
On account of me you will stand before governors and kings
as witnesses to them.
And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.
Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial,
do not worry beforehand about what to say.
Just say whatever is given you at the time,
for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
(Mark 13:9-11, NIV)

My Lord, sometimes You seem to lead me into difficult situations.
Sometimes You force me to deal with
difficult people,
difficult decisions and
difficult tasks.

Sometimes You allow
illness and
loss to enter my life.

I will accept each unpleasant circumstance
as a new place to witness to You.

Listen…and sing if you want:
Hymn: God’s Mysterious Ways
Printed Music & Lyrics