Co-incidences or God’s Providence?

Yesterday, I was listening to Greg Koukl’s excellent weekly radio program from March 4th (http://www.str.org/podcasts/weekly-audio/proverbs-remember-god-s-instructions-march-4-2014#.UzLRrYWQ8dU). Somewhere after the first break, Greg was talking with a guy (I think his name was Sergio?) about how to “Explain his experience with God”. It got me thinking about a few things that have happened to me. I wanted to relay a few situations which I believe were orchestrated by God:

  1. I was driving to work one morning and listening to a sermon, as I often do, from James MacDonald. The sermon topic was tithing and the passage of Scripture he was expositing was Malachi 3. As I was listening to the sermon, I saw a car go past me on the right (we were in heavy, bumper to bumper traffic). As the car passed, I looked at the license plate and it said “MAL 3 10”. Of course that license plate referred to the very passage of Scripture that James was preaching on (Malachi 3:10)! Here it is:“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
  2. I was talking to the owner of a small submarine sandwich shop one Saturday afternoon. There was no one else in the store and it was the first day I’d met him. I started to talk to him about God and Christianity. As we were talking, he started to raise objections about God allowing evil. I did the best I could to answer him, but at the end, he really wasn’t changing his mind. Later that week, I was getting ready to leave for our church’s men’s retreat. It was Friday and I had the day off, so I had available time. At one point, about an hour before I was supposed to leave, I felt a strong desire (call it a prompting) to make a CD with a podcast from J. Warner Wallace where he had spoken about the problem of evil. I thought it was a really good podcast and that it may help the shop owner as he dealt with this issue of the problem of evil. So, I ran by the shop to drop it off to him. I asked for him, but he wasn’t there. His wife was working there. I told her that I was just there to drop off a CD that related to a topic he and I were talking about last week. I gave her the CD’s and asked her when he would be back in because I would like to talk to him about them. She then informed me that he’d just recently been admitted to the hospital with a brain aneurism and they didn’t know for sure if he was going to live. Of course I was shocked and communicated to her my sympathy for the situation and his health and told her I would pray for him and her and to let him know that I’d stopped by.

It is possible that these situations could have been purely coincidental, but it is more reasonable for me to believe that they were orchestrated by God.

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