Have you ever been somewhere, and you thought, “Oh, my God; God is really here”? You know, one of those moments or incidents where you can feel His presence, or something is shown to you that you can’t explain how or why. Some of us shrug it off and call them coincidences, while others grasp onto them, holding them for dear life, knowing it was God. I truly believe “coincidence calling” is either from fear or a lack of belief or doubt that God would be interested in our lives. I’ve noticed from my own “coincidence calling,” fear was the culprit. Fear of what others thought, fear that I was wrong, and just fear of thinking I was crazy kept me from giving God the glory. I now know God does not instill fear, but the devil delights in it.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
When I was little, I thought God lived in the church and didn’t quite understand the concept that He is actually everywhere. As I’ve gotten older, I know from Scripture that He is everywhere. Last summer, a friend and I were having a lot of God moments in a small park down the street, and it got to the point that we didn’t want to walk anywhere else because we were for certain God was there. Yep, even as adults, we were convinced He was meeting us at River Road Park. Let me explain before everyone goes running to River Road Park that I don’t think He lives at River Road Park, but He for sure was letting us know He was with us.
Our walks were full of memorizing Scripture, faith, and conversations about the Holy Spirit. One afternoon, we were walking side by side, and a white feather slipped between our shoulders. There wasn’t that much of a gap for that to happen, and when it did, we both looked at each other like, “How did that happen?” It landed in front of our next step. I picked it up and studied it for a few seconds and felt for sure it was a white dove feather. I brought it home to the “naturalist”—my husband, Dwight—and he confirmed the same. You say, “White dove feather—what’s that got to do with God?” Well, the white dove symbolizes the Holy Spirit.
Luke 3:22 And the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Now, at that time of the feather slipping between our shoulders, we were talking about the Holy Spirit and how He works, and my friend had a deep desire to know Him more and see His wonders. To both of our surprise, that white feather was more than a so-called “coincidence”; it was God letting us know He was there on our walk. During that summer, time after time, He showed up during our walks, delighting us by His surprises. And, time after time, we acknowledged it was Him.
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Throughout my life, I’ve seen so many God moments, and they have been everywhere: Chicago, South Carolina, Florida, home, cars, hospitals, malls, work, parks—and even in the darkest places where I thought He would not be, He was there. I could go on and on, telling my experiences, but I know everyone has their own. Even if you can’t recall them, they are there. They could be as little as receiving a phone call from a friend in a moment of despair or an uplifting word from a stranger who felt led by God to speak it to you—such as the day when a man playing a violin at the steps of the Chicago Art Museum felt led to change his tune.
He played for pennies before we entered the museum and hours before we left. My husband, an artist, wanted to paint a picture of him and asked one of our daughters to go down and take a photograph of this violinist. Shy as can be, she wanted her stepdad to go with her, so he followed her into the circle of the violinist’s performance. The man was playing a wonderful tune, but when my husband stepped forward into his presence, the man stopped playing in the middle of his song, stood up, winked at Dwight, and started playing “Amazing Grace.” You see, “Amazing Grace” is a song that holds dear to our hearts, for it is the song that our son requested, in an email, to be played at his funeral before taking his life. Believe me, even in our darkest moments, He is with us.
So I challenge us all to look for our Heavenly Father everywhere and acknowledge Him—no more calling it “coincidence,” no more saying, “Isn’t that weird?” (I do that, too) but instead, answering, “Thank you, Heavenly Father; I know you are here.”
Hebrews 13:5 He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”