It's Not a Coincidence; It's a God Thing!

You are the God who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the peoples.
Psalm 77:14 (NKJV)

My post this week is a bit longer than usual, but bear with me. I’m about to tell you a story. It’s one of those stories that people call “a God thing,” something that makes the hair stand up on their arms.

Last Friday, my friend and I met for coffee so I could return a book that I had borrowed from her. In the thirty-plus years that we’ve known each other, we’ve gone for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, but never just coffee. I suggested that we meet at a little place on the west side of town.

As we sat there sipping almond lattes and discussing the book I’d borrowed, I asked, “Have you read ‘Jesus Calling’ by Sarah Young?” My friend hadn’t, so I told her about what an amazing devotional it is. She jotted down the title.

The coffee shop sets next to the only Christian bookstore in town, a small shop that struggles to stay in business and has more than a few empty shelves. When we finished our coffee, my friend suggested that we go inside and look around.

While she browsed, I checked to see if they had any of my books. They didn't. Then I looked for “Jesus Calling.” I didn't find it among the dozen, or so, books on the Devotionals rack.

After a few minutes, we decided to leave. On our way out of the store an autobiography caught my friend’s eye. She decided to buy it. A chubby gentleman stood at the checkout counter. He introduced himself as Anthony, the new owner. As Anthony rang up the book, he said, “Have you heard of ‘Jesus Calling?’” He pointed to a display of Sarah Young’s books in the corner of the shop. My friend looked at me, and I knew what she thought: This is strange. Anthony continued, “The Holy Spirit led me to stock that book. I’ve sold copy after copy. It sells out every time.” (What I didn’t share with my friend or Anthony was just how connected I’ve felt lately to Sarah’s books. That’s something that I decided to keep to myself.)

The conversation with Anthony continued. I told him that I had worked as an editor at Golden Books until the company left our town and moved to New York. “Were you in the Erie Street building?” Anthony asked. Yes, my office had been there, on the third floor. That building and others in the complex have sat empty for years. The real estate company hadn’t found a buyer although the location is prime, on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.

“It’s sad,” I said, “that those buildings are still vacant and in such disrepair.”

Anthony smiled. He said, “I just bought them." (It turns out that Anthony comes from a well-known, wealthy family in our area.) He told us about his plans for the complex: a new Christian ministry center with a residence for abused women and their children, an auditorium for concerts and worship, a chapel overlooking the lake, and picnic grounds inspired by the Fruits of the Spirit. “The first time I stood on that land, on that bluff,” Anthony said, “I looked out at the lake, and I cried. I felt the Holy Spirit moving there.” He paused. “I tell you; that’s holy ground.”

A chill ran through me. The hair stood up on my arms —
Almost thirty years ago, I also had met the Holy Spirit on that same bluff, on that holy ground. I was an agnostic then, and I had stood there questioning whether God is for real. On that cloudy spring morning, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: “Look out at the water, and the sun shall shine upon you as I speak.” Just as He promised, the sun broke through the clouds, and God and I had a conversation. That was the day when I asked Jesus into my heart.

Now Anthony the Bookseller has met Jean the Author. Both of us are connected to the Holy Spirit through that bluff on Lake Michigan, a place that Anthony just purchased to develop for the Lord. Is this a coincidence? No. It’s a God thing—

And I don’t think He’s done with us yet.

(Oh, and by the way, before Golden Books owned that land, guess what occupied it. A Christian college!)

In my first-ever blog post, I wrote about the day that I met the Holy Spirit on the bluff. You can read that post here.


Shari Barr said...

Love this story, Jean! Great job.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jean -

Someone once said, "Coincidences are God working anonymously."

I've had a few of these "God meetings" in recent days.

Susan :)


I'm proud to be a contributing author to the following series of humorous devotionals.
And check out my "Kid's Bible Dictionary" and pre-teen mysteries, also from Barbour.

See all the books in the Camp Club Girls series.

See all the books in the Camp Club Girls series.
Click on the picture.
I am the author of these books, but I have not been compensated for mentioning them on this blog or linking them to the seller's website. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

By Max Lucado, Published by Thomas Nelson
Max Lucado has a unique way with words, and his children's book Hermie A Common Caterpillar is no exception. With simple text and bright, watercolor illustrations, the story of Hermie unfolds.

Hermie wonders why he looks and feels so common. Whenever he asks God why, God simply answers, "I'm not finished with you yet." Then, one day, Hermie feels very tired. He gets into his cozy, leafy bed, and he sleeps. And while Hermie sleeps a transformation takes place. When he wakes up, Hermie discovers that God has done something grand. You can guess what it is. Every caterpillar that lives to adulthood knows the end of the story.

Parents, please share this book and its powerful message with your children. We are all special because God loves us, and He has a unique purpose for our lives. Whenever we slump into feeling ordinary, we know that we have hope because . . .God isn't finished with us yet!

*Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

©text on this blog copyrighted 2012 by Jean Fischer unless otherwise credited. You may link to the blog, but please don't reprint the text without my permission.

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