Are coincidences signs? Are they leading you along a path—the path you are supposed to travel? What happens if you ignore them and go a different direction? Some people say nothing bad will happen. Others can point to a time when a coincidence kept them from being in an accident, or led them to something good.
There is an old story I've heard told from the pulpit of a church more than once.
There was a terrible flood. The river was rising and the people were told to evacuate their homes and go to higher ground. One old man wouldn't leave. The police went door-to-door telling people to move out. The old man said, "I'm not going. God will save me."
The water got up to the second floor. The rescue unit sent a boat to save the old man, but he wouldn't get in it. "God will save me," he said.
When the water got even higher and the old man had moved up onto the roof, they sent a helicopter. "Grab the ladder," they called down to him. "No, thank you," the old man answered. "God will save me."
The old man drowned.
When he got to heaven and met God, he asked, "God, I put all my faith in you. Why didn't you save me?"
God answered. "Well, I sent you a boat and a helicopter. What else did you expect?"
In other words, we shouldn't ignore signs.
I used to sell real estate. One day when I was on duty a woman came in. I'll call her Sue. Here is her story.
Her husband was a chemist at the paper mill near our town. They were a young couple. He was right out of college and this was his first job. He hated the job. He hated where he worked. He hated the type chemistry he was doing. They hated the town. They hated the school system their children would have attended had they not gone to church school. The only thing they liked was the fundamentalist church they attended.
They had been praying fervently about the situation, asking God to provide a different life for them. Now, the husband's favorite college professor was a supervisor at a plant in another state, and had offered the husband a job doing the kind of chemistry he loved—at a substantial raise.
BUT THEY DIDN'T KNOW IF GOD WANTED THEM TO GO.
Her dilemma that day was that she didn't know whether to list their house for sale or not. God hadn't told her.
It just so happened I had another couple I had been showing houses for over a year. The husband had been driving well over a hundred miles a day commuting to his work in our town. To say she was picky about a house was an understatement. I had been showing her homes for so long we had become good friends. We knew all about each other's kids and hobbies and such. I'll call her Rita.
I knew Sue's home was just what Rita was looking for. Perfect size. Perfect neighborhood. Perfect price. So I asked Sue if she would permit a 'one time showing'. That is a listing to show to one customer only. No sign. No ad. Just the one couple looking at it.
Rita and husband loved it. Made a full price offer.
Sue and husband turned it down.
God hadn't told them whether to sell or not.
Coincidences or signs? God sends a boat. God sends a helicopter. He sends a job. He sends a raise. He sends a buyer for your house.
Can you recognize signs? Do you ignore coincidences?