Connecting The Dots, Christian Style!
Recently, I felt led to read the web page of a friend. There I learned a fellow Christian (and a friend to both of us), had taken ill with the flu. I wrote our ill friend and told her I was taking her illness to God in prayer. She later wrote me back and asked if God had told me she was ill. She said she had just returned from the doctor scant hours before, and she was a bit surprised that that I already knew of her illness! She thanked me for holding her up in prayer.
I replied that yes, God had told me about her illness, but he did it in a roundabout sort of way. I also said we should never be shocked as to the ways our Creator, Lord and Holy Spirit choose to keep us in the loop, or deal with us, as the case may be.
Now, a person of-the-world may scoff and say, "Oh, that was just a coincidence that you read about your friend being ill on another persons web page. So what if it was just hours after she had been to a doctor. It doesn't prove anything!"
We believers will just smile when a person of-the-world makes such statements. Believers know better! God wanted me to hold my Christian Sister up to him (as is commanded in the Bible). The power of prayer will not be kept back! Once we come out of the world, once we choose to follow Jesus and be separate, we see things with new eyes, and hear things with new ears. We believers can 'connect the dots'!
I always say my becoming a believer was one of the long-range projects Jesus had been working on! 3 years ago a church opened just a 3-minute drive from my home. They were selling tickets to a spaghetti dinner at the church on Saturday night. I bought a ticket and went. Everyone seemed nice. I didn't go back though. I never gave the church a second though.
Then, last winter, I asked my friend (the one who was ill recently) to pray for me. Nothing bad was happening to me. It was just something I put at the end of an email. At that time I had no idea why I wrote that. Within a few days, I felt terrible! I felt like someone was dragging me around by the collar! I started to think about my life, my sins, about eternity and I thought a lot about Hell. At one point I actually said out loud, "I don't want to burn!" A worldly person may say, "Oh, that was just a coincidence that after you asked someone to pray; and then you felt bad." Believers know better; because, we can connect the dots!
After a week and a half of that, I decided it was time to get to church. What church should I to go? There are over 220 churches in my community! I knew there was a Christian woman where I worked. I decided to ask her on Friday afternoon where she goes to church. But, Friday after lunch, she was not there! Our supervisor said the other employee had gone home sick. The worldly person is going to say, "Just another coincidence! People go home sick all the time. Besides it was Friday. She may have just said she was sick to get a jump on the weekend!" Believers will connect the dots here.
What happened? So, I went home without a clue of what church to go to. Then I remembered the church where they had the spaghetti dinner. That's where I went on Sunday morning. I walked in wearing slacks, dress shirt & tie. Everyone else had on jeans! I felt self-conscience! But, I was welcomed in like a long lost brother! Everyone was so friendly! I could almost hear the Holy Spirit saying to me, "This is where you belong. Now, sit down, and listen up!"
A non-believer could easily think, this fellow just happened to recall that church. There's nothing special here! Every believer has already connected the dots! Jesus had a church in mind for me. Jesus knew exactly where he wanted me! The Holy Spirit caused my co-worker to feel a bit ill, and had her go home early.
I came back to the 5 o'clock service that day too (in cargo pants and a polo shirt this time). Within 2 days I met with a deacon, he presented the Gospel. I became a believer. After, I felt Gods arms around me. I could hear God saying to me, " You are now my son. Nothing was by chance. The people you met, the spaghetti dinner you went to, and the young woman you asked to pray for you. We, the Holy Trinity, directed all of this. I've called you out. The Holy Spirit made you feel guilty. He convicted you of your sins. You accepted the gift of redemption that Jesus, my son, bought for you on the cross. Now the Holy Spirit will help you move forward as a disciple of Jesus."
And so it is, and has been. A non-believer can muse, "Aw, just a nice story, with a string of perfectly explainable coincidences! "
I challenge any non-believer to go to church, or just ask a true believer to present the Gospel. Listen with an open heart, and open mind. You may find all your dots are suddenly all connected!