Co-Inky-Dinks

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

  • Romans 8:28-30

 

Rule 39: “There is no such thing as coincidence.”

  • Leroy Jethro Gibbs, NCIS (Usually quoted by any of the other team members)

 

 

I think it was my sister who would call coincidences, “Co-Inky-Dinks.”  But this is a list of my wife’s favorite stories regarding God showing His favor.  You can decide whether they are mere coincidences, God granting His favor, or even a miracle.

 

Before we start, note that for three of the four stories about us are before my wife’s “all-in” moment when she began to be on fire for Jesus, and during a period where I could say that I was wandering in the wilderness.  We were doing things for the church and other volunteer jobs, but we were kind of going through the motions.  My wife has admitted that she didn’t take Christianity that seriously, yet she never doubted the existence of God or the historicity of Jesus.  The bottom line was that we were not accepting the Holy Spirit’s guidance as we should have.  When you look at the scripture above, we loved God, and we were called, but we may not have been performing the call at that time.  The other two stories are about other people, bonus stories.

 

The reason why I bring this up is that God places His protective hand upon those that He has chosen, and at times, before they have answered the call.

 

Story #1: Getting Rid of a House

I have mentioned in other posts that we owned a house in South Carolina for over ten years.  My job was not secure, and I was being targeted by upper management for other people’s sins.  It was one of those things regarding a new boss.  First day on the job, flex your muscles, and then everyone remaining would fear you.  My name was the name pulled out of the hat.  I wasn’t laid off or fired, just nastiness ensued.  That’s just background.

 

We found a new job in Mississippi, but our house in South Carolina would not sell.  Each time we rented the house out, there was more damage than profit.  We were down to our last few dollars.  My wife and I prayed for guidance.  We decided to turn the keys into the bank.  We said, “Amen” for our prayer and called our real estate agent.  It had been two and a half years.  She knew about all of our losses.  The area was depressed when the plant where I had worked laid off over 10,000 employees after I left, but during the time that the house was on the market.  With that many lay-offs, it affected every other business.  Not selling a house was no surprise.  Then, we got a call a day or two later.  The agent had a prospect, but we’d heard that story so many times before.  (One didn’t qualify for a loan.  Another pulled the offer when a better house appeared.  Etc.)  The agent paid the next month’s mortgage payment for us.

 

This time, the house sold.  Who bought it?  A Church of Christ preacher with a small family, just right for our old house.

 

Coincidence, God’s Hand on our lives, or miracle?

 

Story #2: The Ice Storm of 1994

My next job only lasted three years.  I was working for a NASA contractor and our project was cancelled.  It was the same scenario as when I left the previous job, with a new boss flexing muscles.  This time it was a new president and our NASA project and the super-collider project in Texas had to go.  So many lives affected by politics.

 

In February of 1994, I was out of work.  My wife had gotten a job, but it was the worst job she’d ever had, due to the abuse.  As the month began, the lights went out, literally.  An ice storm knocked out power to much of northern Mississippi, northwest Alabama, and parts of Tennessee.  We lived on a sparsely populated country road, so we were at the bottom of the power company’s priority list.

 

We had an all-electric home.  We used our propane grill as house heat and cooking stove.  We heated water and cooked at the same time with the windows open to prevent carbon monoxide build-up.  Then the spit baths before hopping into sleeping bags in the living room, the only semi-warm room in the house.

 

Then came our wedding anniversary three weeks later.  My wife said that we couldn’t afford to eat out, but let’s forget our troubles.  I had done some substitute teaching.  Let’s spend the cash. (What cash!?)  We prayed that God would bless us that night.  After all, we’d been married 19 years.  We went to Red Lobster.  We ordered very reasonable entrees.  My wife got a simple mixed drink.  Then, the waiter forgot to input the order into the computer and then he clocked out.  Over an hour passed before the manager asked us if we’d placed an order.  When he realized the mistake, he asked us to repeat the order.  We didn’t lie.  Everything was on the house except for my wife’s drink.  They had a record of that.

 

Coincidence, God’s Hand on our lives, or miracle?

 

Also, when we got back home after our free meal and watching Disney’s Three Musketeers (at the dollar movie), we returned home to see every light in the house was on.

 

Story #3: Cub Scout Leaders

I had been Cubmaster of a troop in North Augusta, SC for several years and my wife had been a den leader for a year more than that.  Every year boys would gather to join the troop.  Every year we had difficulty getting adults to volunteer, but one year we had enough boys show up for two new dens.  Yet, no one volunteered to be the den leaders.  Each adult had a multitude of excuses.  We gave them the bottom line.  No leaders, no child joins that night.

 

We had not prayed before the meeting.  It was the same story nearly every year, but someone would step forward.  My wife reminded me that we had not prayed.  We went home and prayed.  The next day, two mothers (as was usually the case, the most busy of the mothers) called to volunteer.  And unlike other years, these reluctant leaders took all of the training classes and did a great job.

 

Coincidence, God’s Hand on our lives, or miracle?

 

Story #4: Walt Disney World or bust

My older son bought a timeshare.  He had been paying into it for years and one year, he decided to go to Walt Disney World.  They were going to get an extra room so that we could go with them, but I had work conflicts (and money issues).  Neither of us could go if we couldn’t pay for the entrance fee to WDW.  For the package that my son wanted, that would be $259.  (They were going to be there a while.)  If we had that much money, I could use frequent flier miles to get my wife to Orlando.  I only had enough miles for one ticket.  Our son got more and more irritated as we would answer his question with, “We just don’t know yet.  We need more money.”  My son finally told us, tomorrow is the last day.  He had to book the tickets the next day or lose his discount.  We sat down and prayed.  This was after my wife was on fire for Jesus.  In the mail the next day was a letter from our insurance company.  They’d made too much money the previous year, and would we mind cashing this refund check for $259?

 

Coincidence, God’s Hand on our lives, or miracle?

Bonus Story #5: My Mother-in-Law’s Heart Surgery

I’ve written about this before, but it’s a good story.  My mother-in-law lost her husband and was basically penniless and without medical insurance.  She was too young to go on Medicare.  Then she got a heart attack.  She went to the local Catholic hospital.  They performed heart surgery.  And while she was recovering, she called my wife, who was the oldest daughter.  They talked every day on the phone.  The bottom line was that the bill was going to be well into the five digits, a sizeable sum at that time.  My wife prayed, but could only do that.

 

To keep from worrying about the bill, my mother-in-law rolled her wheel chair to the children’s ward, pulled out her guitar, and sang for the children.  I married into a not-so-famous singing group of immigrants, Moeder Molly and her Dutch Dochters (Mother Molly and her Dutch daughters).  They would sing at the Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio every year (for over 20 years), singing folk songs from all over the world.  None of her songs were in English, but the children didn’t care.

 

When Moeder Molly finally got to leave the hospital, she cried.  She told the woman holding the paperwork that she could only pay a few pennies each month for a few hundred years, but she’d pay the bill.  The administrator handed her the paperwork to sign and asked, “What bill?  It has been paid in full.  We just need your signature.”

 

We never found out how the bill was paid.

 

Coincidence, God’s Hand on our lives, or miracle?

 

Bonus Story #6: The Car Heater

Our long time Sunday school teacher in Augusta, GA had a car that he thoroughly loved.  There was only one problem.  The heater didn’t work.  Each year, he would take it to the dealer to complain.  Each year, the dealership would say that nothing was wrong with his heater.  Each year, on the few days that were really cold, he froze on his way to work.

 

Then one year, there was a record cold snap in Augusta.  His hands were shaking as he put the key into the ignition.  He said, “Lord, I’ll write out a monster check to my favorite charity, if I could just get some heat this morning.”  At that very moment, hot air came out of the vents.

 

Bargaining with God is never a good idea, but God knew his heart.

 

Coincidence, God’s Hand on our lives, or miracle?

 

NOTE:  There is commonality regarding these six stories.  They all involved prayer.

 

Coincidence?  God’s Hand on our lives?  Miracle? Or Answer to Prayer?  Or some combination of the last three?  As for me, I agree with Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

 

When I say that God is sovereign, He is sovereign in the small stuff as well as the big stuff.

 

5 Comments

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  1. I so love Heavenly co-inky-dinks 🙂

    Like

  2. We have some similar miracles that have occurred in our marriage as well. God does answer prayers and often in ways we don’t expect. Most of the time these miracles could be considered co-inky dinks, but we both know better,

    Liked by 1 person

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