Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Have you ever found yourself wishing, “If God would just SHOW ME A SIGN . . .” you would know what to do or whether or not you’re headed in the right direction?
Haven’t we all?
Just once, wouldn’t it be nice to look up and see writing in the sky?
Though answers rarely come as a flashing neon sign — call me crazy — sometimes I sense God’s favor in what others may dismiss as coincidence.
Maybe nothing as dramatic as a thunder clap or lightning strike or a rainbow sent right to your front yard, but a kind of mini-miracle that speaks right to the heart of whatever is going on in your life . . . right . . . now.
It helps to hold tight to what we’re promised in scripture: God has gifted us with not some, but every, spiritual blessing. In the passage from Ephesians 1, we learn that in Christ, we are
receivers of grace,
and sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.
God’s generosity knows no bound.
Lord, may I never cease to be thankful, humbled by, and astonished at the wonder, beauty, and cost of the cross.
Last week I was sitting at my kitchen table with two friends. I had invited them over to begin putting flesh on the bones of an idea birthed in my heart awhile back.
They weren’t the first people I had approached about joining me in this new thing; but after arm-twisting another friend without success for over two years, it finally occurred to me that maybe she wasn’t the one to help.
Sometimes earnestly seeking the Lord means letting go of preconceived plans and ideals.
This is a lesson on repeat for me, something I’ve been slow to learn.
Around my table that day we began to sense God’s presence in our gathering, oddly enough, in a color scheme. It started with Hannah and Tracey noticing my journal, pen, and espresso cup perfectly coordinating (How much do I love that my friends picked up on such a tiny detail? It’s exactly the kind of thing I’m prone to notice.). Hannah “had” to take a picture.
Deeply engaged in our conversation, all three of us jumped when Hannah noticed the shadow of a man at my front door, followed quickly by a sharp knock. I knew what they didn’t — it was simply a package delivery. Our front door is within arm’s reach of our kitchen table, and they aren’t accustomed to that proximity for mail deliveries.
I opened the door to pick up my package, and immediately realized what it was: an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real Life Engagement. Since you’re obviously an (in)courage reader (wink), you might have seen recent images and teasers about Craving Connection. What makes this book extra special is that it is a first from (in)courage and features 30 authors from both the (in)courage team and community at large. Through Scripture, personal testimony, and prayer, the 30-day devotional explores the question, “How could your life be different after prayerfully and intentionally connecting with God, friends, and your community?” (We can’t wait to share more soon–promise!)
I quickly explained what it was to my friends, who remembered me working on my chapter “A Safe Harbor” at the first of the year. As quickly as I placed the book on the table to continue our conversation, we noticed–
Everything was color coordinated . . .
We couldn’t miss it, and we didn’t want to dismiss it as coincidence. It felt like a God-wink, a conduit of God’s pleasure with our plans.
I asked the girls if they’d like me to read my chapter before they left; honestly, it had been so long since I wrote it, other than a general idea, I had forgotten what I submitted. Bless their hearts –– how could they say anything but “Yes“?
It was a surprise to me when reading it to them brought tears to my eyes, not once or twice, but three times. And the general complexion of my world 15 years ago is what one of them is living now; my own story years in the past was relevant to hers now, and it encouraged her to feel like someone understood from the inside out. She could see beyond her current circumstance, because she knows this part of my story: I’m not anchored to my history but it has softened my edges, and helps to demonstrate the value of those hard seasons.
Talk about a paycheck . . .
We cried together and prayed together, and it was an absolute gift to have them with me to celebrate my small contribution to this work.
God continued to “wink” even after they were gone. When I checked my mail, my neighbor had slipped in a picture she had of me, and the notepaper she used perfectly matched the color scheme du jour —
Maybe a peculiar correlation, but the series of color-coordinated vignettes reminded me of the movie classic, Chariots of Fire, when Eric Liddell said, “I believe that God made me for a purpose . . . When I run, I feel His pleasure.”
Those matchy-matchy colors seemed to be an indication of God’s pleasure in my “running” (obedience), as I’m stepping into one of His Kingdom invitations. God-winks are good gifts, always perfect in their timing. If God was Southern, it would be like Him giving a surcie.
Can you recall a time when you received a God-wink, a tangible sense of God’s favor, blessing or pleasure in response to your obedience? Please tell us about it!