I often have an uncanny knack for being in the right place at the right time. Strange things just seem to happen that don’t often manifest in the lives of others. Some may call it a divine coincidence while the skeptics just fluff it off as pure chance. I however, see something much greater in all these situations. I have always been fascinated by all that God has made. His creativity and diversity is absolutely amazing, and I deeply appreciate every nuance of it. I believe God enjoys showing me just a few of the amazing things He can do. I am an “audience of one” and He continually says, “Hey Bill, take a look at this! What do you think?” Let me give you just a few examples and you can judge for yourself.
I once was less than 10 feet away from a 3-foot diameter ball-lightening that came sizzling down the river. It hit the metal bridge I was standing on and boiled the water where it went into the ground. Fish floated to the surface completely dead yet I was fine. On a clear day a small tornado about 50 feet tall and 5 feet in diameter came roaring down with the sound of a jet engine and cleared the treetops. It dropped down on the water and passed within a few feet of the canoe my wife and I were in. The thing threw up a spray of water, weeds and cattail fuzz, but we were untouched.
Want a few more? A massive bolt of lightning hit a large rock fireplace 15 feet from where I was sitting. Every hair on my body stood straight up and stones the size of my head were blasted into the air. I was momentarily deaf and blind from the flash and concussion. When I came to my senses I saw that fragments of rock and large stones had been driven a foot or more into the hillside right behind me, but not one thing had hit me. How about this one? My wife and I were in our canoe one day and a wild duck flew right in alongside us. It stuck with us for the better part of an hour. When I started up our electric trolling motor and we glided off, it continued to fly right next to us just above the water, refusing to leave.
The list could go on and on but I am sure you get the point. I seem to continually experience the most bizarre and unusual things, and I love it. It keeps my life exciting, it keeps me alert and I am in awe of all that surrounds me in the natural and spiritual world. In fact, three days ago I had another interesting encounter that showed me just how good God is. I am certain that only He could have set this one in motion and I am so glad I actually got to participate in this one as it unfolded.
My phone rang, and that’s not unusual, but the area code was not one I have ever called. In my mind I was thinking “Oh great a telemarketer has gotten my cell number”. I was about to hit the reject button when I had a “knowing” I was supposed to take this particular call. Against my normal actions I picked up the line and said, “hello?” The moment I did there was a noise at the other end that sounded like someone had just had the breath sucked right out of them.
The tone of the voice I heard next was part fear and part unexplained expectation that had a hint of pure terror in it. A young woman said, “Hello? Hello? Who is this?” I was caught off guard by the urgency of the request so I also hesitated for a moment to respond. Finally I said, “Did you intend to call (and I stated my number)? “Yes, yes” she replied, “that’s the exact number I dialed. Who is this? Are you…..”. and then her sentence trailed off with no ending. Once again I responded, “Well who were you calling?” Then what she told me brought the entire conversation into focus.
This had always been her grandpa’s phone number and when I answered, for just a split second she thought I was him. I actually sounded like him in so many ways and even the tone of my voice made her think that she may have somehow made a divine connection to this man she so dearly loved. You see, her grandpa had died back in March and his phone had never been turned off. She would call his number once in a while, when she really missed him, just so she could hear his voice on the answering machine and be comforted. When I pickup up the line, and my voice sounded like his, well… you can imagine it was quite a shock.
We talked for quite a while. During our conversation I told her that I was a pastor and she actually choked up a bit when she heard this. Apparently she had been looking for some sign that her grandpa might be in heaven. I discovered that in her mind I was that sign, and now she was at peace. When we said our final “good-by” she said, “I’m so glad a pastor has my grandpa’s number. He was such a wonderful man. It makes me feel good to know this little part of him is still here even though he is gone. God bless you pastor, and thank you.” And I said “Your are welcome my dear, call this number any time.”
Could God use a phone number and a stranger on the other end to bring comfort to a young woman in a time of distress? Absolutely! If you understand His creativity and boundless love for His creation, you also know that nothing is impossible for Him. He can reach across the miles, restore the missing years, heal a broken heart and bridge the gap between the living and the dead. He is just amazing and that’s why I get so excited when I can see and even participate in the little miracles He does.
How about you? Are you amazed and delighted by the creativity found in His creation? Are you still touched by the beauty before you and moved by the wonder of the life that is all around you? If you have lost that amazing sense of expectancy then let me encourage you to begin looking for it again. Take a moment to pause and see all the incredible things that are happening all around you. Slow down and participate in life, don’t just move through it. Take a chance, start a conversation with a stranger, become present to the moment and enjoy the journey. Who knows, today you might become someone’s answer to prayer!
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