I Do Not Believe in Coincidence
BY AARON ELLIOTT, ASSOCIATE PASTOR OF CHURCH PLANTING
Sunday, September 18, 2016. I am standing at the front of St. Luke’s Redcliffe Gardens as the service concludes. I arrived in England on Thursday evening and have spent the last two days with our church planting team and their families. Any endeavor that requires living a long way from where you grew up, in another culture, is filled with challenge. I am reminded of a Puritan prayer that I will pray when I conduct weddings that has the following lines:
“Now make such assignments to them on the scroll of Your will as will bless them and develop their characters as they walk together. Give them a little something to forgive every day that they may grow in the grace of longsuffering. Give them enough tears to keep them tender, enough hurts to keep them human, enough failures to keep their hands clenched tightly in Yours…”
Our team has been living here for some months now. Longsuffering is not quite strong enough for the challenges they have faced. Tears? Is it possible to run out? Hurts? More than enough. Failures? Sure.
As the disciples once said to Jesus, “To whom shall we go?” God has called this team to London, where else can they go?
The next line of the prayer continues: “…and enough success to make them sure they walk with You.”
I do not believe in Coincidence. Coincidence is a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection. I believe God has all power and His Spirit is always at work. And I was reminded of this reality, that he IS with me and with our team, on Sunday, September 18.
I do not believe in Coincidence. Coincidence is a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection. I believe God has all power and His Spirit is always at work.
As I am standing down front, a young woman walks down. She introduces herself as Jessica, shares that she has a sister who attends Butler University (Go Dawgs!), and has an Uncle and Aunt that live near Indy and thinks they may attend a church that has the name Grace in it. Do we know Scott Toussaint?
Do I know Scott Toussiant? I have known Scott for over 15 years now. He sits right in front of me in our 1,500 seat auditorium at the 4:30 p.m. service on Saturdays. We have walked many roads together.
Turns out Jessica took a job that brought her to London for what she thought was 8 months. She has been there more like 18 months now because she met someone. Every Sunday afternoon when she talks with her Mom back in the states, her Mom asks if she has been to church yet. Jessica says, “not yet,” and confessed to me that “it is really hard to connect with any spirituality here.” She was out shopping in the neighborhood that morning and saw this beautiful church building and thought, why not check it out?
On the exact day that we are visiting?
For a team that is sent to proclaim the good news of Jesus, to see Jessica, and the many other first time visitors that morning, was just the success I needed to know that our team is surely walking with God. He is always working.