A devotional book I read as a teen-ager (sadly, I can’t remember the name of it) started off with the story from John 21 about how the disciples went fishing after Jesus’ death, and how He appeared in His resurrected body on the shore asking if they had caught anything. They had fished through the night and caught nothing. He told them to cast their net on the other side, and they did so and caught so many fish they couldn’t draw the net in. John, the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” recognized then, “It is the Lord.” The devotional went on to encourage us to recognize the hand of God in our daily lives.
For some reason that particular lesson is all that I can specifically remember from that book, but it has stayed with me for years. I hate the little quip that “Coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous” because God is not in the business of remaining anonymous! He wants people to see His actions, influence, and provision.
Earlier this week I heard a story of brother and sister in our church. The sister was known as a very slow driver, and in one outing with her brother he was getting after her about going faster. At a stop light she decided to tease him by just puttering along as slowly as she could. She was in a double turn lane, and the car beside her shot ahead — and got hit by someone running the red light. What was meant as a bit of fun was used to protect them.!
But its not just in the more dramatic episodes where He is at work and wants us to recognize Him, and He doesn’t want just His children to recognize Him. The Father “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45b).
And it’s not just in the good things that happen where we see His hand. He allows illnesses, accidents, losses, loneliness and such for many different reasons, all designed to focus our attention on Him, to draw us closer to Him, to meet some need in our life or to manifest His glory.
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. Isaiah 45:5-6.
For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. Hosea 2:8.
That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, LORD, hast done it. Psalm 109:27.