The term “God-incidence” first entered my vocabulary about twenty years ago, and through the years I’ve learned to see God at work in everyday occurrences. Many of them have become treasured memories.
I’m afraid that oftentimes people write things off as “co-incidences,” when it is really God at work, thereby robbing themselves of a faith-strengthening event. It might be hard to believe in air when it can’t be seen, but then it moves, causing leaves to flutter or water to ripple, making its presence known. If one were struggling to believe in God, then being aware of a God-incidence might be just what their faith needs. I’ve been in the company of people like that – I’ve heard them question God’s existence and say that they feel separated from Him.
A few times a week I volunteer at an addiction recovery facility where I help lead a voluntary Bible study. I’m very much aware of the spiritual battle that is going on, so it’s my practice to pray before entering the facility, and again when I enter the room where we meet, asking the Holy Spirit to come fill the room with His presence.
Do Not Be Anxious
One day I was teaching on the topic of “prayer,” and in the middle of class one of the ladies began to have difficulty breathing. She said that she was having an anxiety attack and that she might need to go to the hospital. Someone called a nurse, who quickly came to get her. When they had left, the remaining ladies asked me to lead them in prayer for her. Afterwards, when asked if they wanted to finish the Bible study, they said that they did. Finding the place where we had left off, one of the women read:
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:13-16 NIV)
One of the ladies remarked, “Wow! I’m floored!” The next verse was:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6 NIV)
This God-incidence was not lost on the group – the ladies excitedly chattered about it. Let’s just say that I appreciated the Holy Spirit’s help with the lesson, for bringing it alive as only He can.
I try to be watchful for God at work and careful not to dismiss it as coincidence. I don’t want to be robbed of God’s awesome presence.