Psalm 36:5 “Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds”
A few weeks ago my little car (his name is Bumble as he is yellow and black like a bumble bee, obvs) died. Like I mean kaput on the side of the road. I was on my way to Leeds where my boyfriend was working at the time, we had planned to meet in Leeds then swop over the driving and go up to Scotland for a long weekend, and I was only about half an hour away from his work when I began to smell burning. As some of you may know I suffer from anxiety and so when I’m driving my car off the motorway and onto a busy ring road and it starts to smell like burning my reaction can very quickly go from confusion, to total panic to full blown anxiety attack within a moment of minutes. However I managed to stay completely calm and cool, telling myself there would be a simple explanation as soon as I get to my boyfriends workplace he can take a look. And then my boyfriend rang me whilst I was in the middle of a very difficult navigation so the map disappeared from the satnav and was replaced with a picture of his face, beautiful as it is to me it wasn’t what I needed to see in that moment. I completely missed the turning, was forced to pull into a very dodgy looking car park and decided to ring up my boyfriend to shout at him that I was lost, the car was on fire and the satnav now wouldn’t reset because there wasn’t enough internet, I would probably be mugged in this skanky carpark and it was all his fault. Then, being the rational human being I am, I hung up.
I then started on God. I asked him what in the worlds he thought he was doing and I was furiously trying to understand why he hadn’t protected me even though I’d prayed before getting in the car and starting my journey. I then continued to drive for half an hour round and round the ring road whilst my boyfriend tried to direct me with no real idea where I was until finally he managed to convince me to stop the car in a little road and wait for him to come and pick me up. We then rang the RAC to come and pick my little car up. My boyfriend explained to me that the problems I had been having with the car for the last few weeks were because the clutch was going and I had in fact completely burnt the clutch out on my journey up to Leeds. It soon dawned on me that the clutch had been going wrong for a while and could easily have burnt out at any point along my journey, possibly in the middle of the motorway miles away from my boyfriend. Instead I had broken down just 15 minutes away from my boyfriend meaning he was able to come and get me and get his car so we could continue our original plan and go up to Scotland that weekend. I then discovered not only was I only 15 minutes away from Russell but I was also parked right next to a little convenience store and three different take aways.
My boyfriend has this word which I love to use it’s a Godincidence. It means that instead of thinking something is a coincidence we actually realise that something has happened as a result of God’s amazing love in our lives. I think that as Christians we use the word coincidence way too much. We have an amazing, loving father, who knows us better than anyone and anything and wants to care for us more than we can imagine. In Psalm 91:4 it says “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler”. He protects us and shields us from harm throughout all of life’s problems both big and small. Some people may think I am totally mad to suggest that God protected me, he brought me to within 15 minutes of my boyfriend, in a place easily accessible for the RAC, he gave us another means of getting to Scotland and he provided us with somewhere to eat. God knows me inside out and he definitely knows that when I am stressed and tired a good Chinese take away will make a world of difference. He protected me and gave me refuge.
I think I would rather be the type of Christian who trusts and knows God is good and faithful, that the little things that we might pass of as a coincidence are in fact our loving father at work. If you feel God doesn’t often answer prayer or you feel far away from God I would encourage you to be mindful of all the little parts of your life that are good, write things down each time something coincidental happens and I bet some of those will start to link up to prayers. Don’t always pass things off as coincidence but instead recognise that God loves you and gives freely to those who trust in him.