Coincidence or Providence?

“Let me . . glean . . after him in whose sight I may find favor.” Ruth 2:2 NKJV

“Occurrences of divine providence benevolently intersect your path every day.”

My thoughts today ask, “coincidence or providence?”

Everyone has unexpected and unexplainable occurrences so obviously out of the ordinary course of events that they are noticeable as peculiar. Such a moment might make you say, “Hmm! How did that happen?” Your response is the recognition of a coincidence, “a concurrence of events with no apparent connection.” It’s stunning when one of such moments arise. Most people explain that as luck. The question for me is this: are there really such things as mere coincidences? Is life just chance occurrences?

Good things that happen without apparent source can only be explained as random coincidence or divine providence? I choose to believe the latter! I have heard many people describe my life-long friend, Kenny, as being “born under a lucky star.” For some it was the only way to explain the good fortune and unique success his life has enjoyed. That would discount his indiscouragable optimism, joyful personality, bold faith, and passion for God. He isn’t lucky; Kenny is blessed with God’s favor! Luck, if there is such a thing, is random; blessing, and there is such a thing, is purposeful.

I find this to be true: the more a person loves and serves God with joyful obedience, the more “random coincidences” seem to occur in their life. “He who earnestly seeks good finds favor.” Proverbs 11:27 NKJV. In my life and ministry, more than once I “just happened” to be where an invaluable opportunity presented itself; I “just happened” to have met the person who could best help me do what God was asking; I “just happened” to know someone who knew someone that I needed to know. Such occurrences of divine providence, small and large, benevolently intersect your path every day. Look closely, you will see God’s fingerprints.

The book of Ruth is a wonderful, historical account of God’s hand upon a young woman, Ruth, who had experienced a series of difficult circumstances – widowed while young and childless, moving from her childhood home in Moab to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, and poverty. In a rural, agricultural society to be without land meant to be without a means for daily provision. She and Naomi were dependent upon the benevolence of others. “Let me go to the field and glean heads of grain after him in whose sight I may find favor.” Read Ruth 1:22-2:11 NKJV. Ruth didn’t ignore realities; she wisely chose to rely on God’s favor. Ruth trusted God to direct her steps, finding unexpected provision and unanticipated posterity into the lineage of David and therefore into the bloodline of the Savior – all by God’s favor. Enjoy the rest of her story. Read Ruth 4:9-22 NKJV.

Favor opens doors you could not access. Favor provides opportunity you did not earn. Favor grants success beyond your skills. Others’ kindness to you is God’s benevolent favor toward you. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor (chosen) rather than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22:1 NKJV. Let Jesus be your model; “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52 NIV. The good that comes your way is providence, not coincidence.

My prayer for you today is that you experience greater reward and satisfaction than effort alone provides.