Is it coincidence or part of something bigger

There is tremendous list of people from the past that I would love to sit down and chat with. World leaders, famous writers, and men and women from the Bible all find their own place on this extremely long list. But there is one person that I tend to look to as an example of how God prepares us when we don’t even know it.

Back in my post college years, one of my hobbies was coin collecting. I spent hours at the local coin dealers and making my way to the shows when they came to town. On a last minute whim, my friend and I made our way to a hotel here in Rosemont, Illinois – a place I had never been – for one such coin show.

This was the first time I had ever driven in the area and these were the days of old school map reading, no GPS to guide our way. Now I was pretty good at reading a map but one wrong turn off the expressway was all it took to get us lost.

Now I had been turned around before and it didn’t take long, only a half hour, to get back on track. Now anyone that knows the roads around Rosemont and O’Hare International Airport will understand why it took thirty minutes to get going in the right direction.

Without too much more trouble, we arrived at the coin show and enjoyed our day. Now you may be asking how this all pertains to Biblical characters and God preparing us.

Well it was about a year or so later that I was volunteering for Metro Chicago Youth for Christ’s Second Saturday events. These were outreach concerts that drew thousands of kids from youth groups from around the Midwest. I would routinely be the one to chauffeur speakers or musical artists to the event from their hotels or even pick them up at the airport. It was shortly after I started volunteering to do this trips that I found myself going to the exact same hotel where I had gotten lost the year before. Time was of the essence and getting lost this time was NOT an option, but since I had made the mistake before, I was prepared this time.

Now you may chalk this up to coincidence or luck, but I see it differently. I see it very differently. This was not the first time and it wasn’t the last that events and situations I have been in have prepared me for something else. God had huge plans for that Second Saturday event – dozens kids accepted Christ as their personal savior or rededicated their lives that night. Though my part was small – it was still a crucial part of God’s bigger picture – a picture he started painting over a year in advance by taking me to a coin show on a whim.

I think all too often we right off coincidences as unimportant or trivial. We don’t see how the past prepares us for our future. I know Moses never thought that.

Moses spent years growing up in the house of Pharaoh and decades as a shepherd. All that time God was preparing him to lead His people out of bondage and slavery. His years in Egypt taught him the ins and outs of the palace. His years as a shepherd taught him the seasons and where to find water. God had prepared Moses for over eighty years before he was ready to use him.

I would love to sit down with Moses and gleam just a bit about his thoughts and experiences. I want to know if he ever questioned why he was going through the things that God put him through. I want to know if he ever chalked something up to coincidence or did he see the bigger picture.

I bet we all can look back at our lives and see times where God allowed us to experience something in order to prepare us for something greater. Sometimes it is something as inconsequential as getting lost driving to a coin show.

Do you have a story like this – I would love to hear it.

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