As a stay at home mom, I’m often tempted to believe the lie that I’m not capable of making a big impact in God’s Kingdom. I was wallowing in this assumption on my way to Walmart with Morgan one morning. When I got there, I kept seeing the same Indian woman over and over. I almost ran into her with my cart accidentally, because it seemed every turn I took, she was there. This was shortly after the Paris attacks so couldn’t help but wonder how it made her feel. I must have seen her at least eight different times to the point that we chuckled and smiled at one another the last couple times. It was then I realized this wasn’t a coincidence (actually, I’m not sure if there really is such a thing) and I knew it was my job to pray for her…to pray for her salvation and whatever she might be dealing with at the time. So, as we walked back to the car, I prayed for her, knowing that there is tremendous power in prayer. 1 John 5:14-15, states “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” Therefore, God tells us that ANYTHING that we pray that is in accordance with His Will, will come to pass.
My parents live in our neighborhood and I had to drop something off at their house one morning. I noticed an Indian woman walking down the sidewalk. She was wearing a coral top, button-down top, black pants and a head covering. I said hello and walked up the driveway. Not 5 minutes later, I was back at our house. At the same point on the sidewalk I noticed an Asian woman wearing the exact same colored, button-down top and pants walking down the exact same point of the sidewalk at our house. I thought, “That’s a weird coincidence” and realized that maybe I was supposed to pray for these two women. James 5:16 says that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective”. Because of what He did on the cross for me, I am righteous in His sight and my prayers are backed by His power – the very same power that created the heavens and the earth.
I may never know the eternal outcome of those prayers, but I do know that if I would have been too hurried about my to-do list, I would have missed seeing them altogether. God wants us to be still enough to notice “coincidences”. For, if He knows the very number of hairs on our heads and stars in the sky, then He is working behind the scenes in more intricate ways than we can ever fathom. I am now convinced that such coincidences are God’s way of inviting you to play participate in the eternal.
Often I get so preoccupied with my to do list or trying to become efficient and effective for His Kingdom that I forget to watch for “coincidences” and listen to what the Holy Spirit is really trying to tell me. Our American culture is not conducive to concept of stillness. As I type this, there is a phone sitting next to me that is like crack cocaine for someone as myself with a short attention span. Our world feeds us layer upon layer of distraction and our American culture tells us that if your life is not hurried and overcommitted, you have no life at all. What’s interesting to note is that Jesus was usually busy but He was never hurried. He always gave proper attention to what the Father gave Him in that moment. He was never too hurried to talk to the women at the well or have the little children sit at His feet.
What’s ironic is that by human terms, Jesus was never really efficient or effective in doing ministry. If He was, he might not have sent a small band of inadequate men to evangelize the entire world. Also, Christ’s main ministry was most successful after His death. My point is this – God does not limit himself to human plans, efforts and concepts. As high as the heavens are from the earth, so are His thoughts than our thoughts and His ways than our ways (Isaiah 55:9). So it is a much better use of time and energy to sit and wait for our Father’s instructions than rush ahead of God’s Will.
It is ironic that stillness is the ultimate time-saver. What God can accomplish through us in 10 minutes of prayers is more than we can do on our own in a lifetime. I’m so very thankful that God does not work in human terms and His ways are perfect. I’m also grateful that God does not call the qualified, but he qualifies the called. Our most important job is not to plot how we can be effective for ministry, as that is a great recipe for getting in the way of God’s perfect plans. But our role is to sit at His feet, to be still and know that He is God. When we are still enough, we begin to become in-tune with how God is continually working around us, we come to how God has intricately positioned us in His plan. Our highest calling and greatest role in life is as children who sit at His feet and listen attentively. When we are hurried and preoccupied with our to-do lists, we might miss out on being a part of how God is working around us and most importantly, how He wants to work through us.