A Case Against Coincidence

by Martha Jette
(Hamilton, Ontario)

Is there really such a thing as coincidence, or does everything happen for a reason? I truly believe there is a reason for every place we go and everyone we meet. I believe each place holds meaning and every person provides information, knowledge or insight that helps us along our respective paths. Unfortunately, most of the time we don’t seize the moment and investigate why these things occur.

Here are some personal examples. I prayed for both my daughters to find good, loving stable men to marry, as I did not have that privilege. They both met their future husbands by chance, over the Internet. Gee, I wish they’d had that in my day!

A few summers ago, I was looking for a church to not only attend, but one that would really need me to get involved and make a difference. I didn’t know it, but the minister of a church just half a block away was looking for someone who could bring some organization to his church, publicize it and draw in new faces. I had finished visiting a local shop and on my way home, I stopped in front of a funeral parlor just around the corner. As I sat on a bench crying, I thought about the mother I had never known. She had been laid to rest there.

I also prayed to Jesus to help me find that special church in need. On my way home, the minister just happened to poke his head out the back door of the church. I had noticed the church before, but didn’t know much about it. The sign out front described it as a mission.

When the heavy set black gentleman appeared at the door, I immediately asked him what the church was all about. He didn’t respond at first; he just stared at me with wonder like he was seeing a vision. Finally, he told me that his was a small congregation of primarily Africans, which was having some difficulties, but holding on. Once I got involved with this church, I was very busy, setting up committees, organizing the office, planning fundraisers and more. It really was exactly what I was looking for.

A few months later, the minister confided that he hadn’t intended to be at the church that day, as it was a Saturday. However, he had been praying for help with church matters and felt led to be there at that time. Although I don’t attend that church now, I hope that our (chance?) meeting brought about some positive changes to his congregation and ministry. I honestly feel that the Lord put me in the right place at the right time.

I can also recall many times that I needed help and Jesus sent someone to help me within seconds. One time I was lost in the traffic-filled streets of downtown Hamilton. I was tired and confused. It was also quite hot and I was not looking forward to walking several city blocks for a bus home.

At the very moment I felt that desperation, a man came down the steps of a local agency. He walked right up to me, asked me what the problem was and drove me directly to the place I had been trying to find. This kind of thing happens to me all the time and I know it is not mere coincidence.
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In case I haven’t convinced you, here are some interesting facts that my American friends will find particularly fascinating:

The first set of dates involves United States presidents, who were elected in years ending with “0.”

1840: William Henry Harrison (died in office)
1860: Abraham Lincoln (assassinated)
1880: James A. Garfield (assassinated)
1900: William McKinley (assassinated)
1920: Warren G. Harding (died in office)
1940: Franklin D. Roosevelt (died in office)
1960: John F. Kennedy (assassinated)
1980: Ronald Reagan (assassination attempt)
2000: George W. Bush (??????????????????)

Lincoln was elected to Congress 1846; became president 1860.
Kennedy was elected to Congress 1946; became president 1960.

Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln.

Both presidents were shot on a Friday.
Both presidents were shot in the head.

Lincoln was shot at a theatre named Ford.
Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln made by Ford.

Both were assassinated by southerners.
Both were succeeded by southerners named Johnson.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three names.
Both names consisted of 15 letters.

That’s only a partial list, but I think you get the picture. There are just too many striking similarities for this to be a total coincidence. At the very least, it’s food for thought.

Here is another example:

What is the shortest chapter in the Bible? Psalms 117
What is the longest chapter in the Bible? Psalms 119
What chapter is at the center of the Bible? Psalms 118
Facts: There are 594 chapters before Psalms 118.
There are 594 chapters after Psalms 118.

Add these two together and you get 1,188
What is the center verse of the Bible? Psalms 118:8
Does this verse at the center of the Bible say anything significant about God’s perfect will for our lives?

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord, than to trust in man.”

There we have it. God’s will at the center of the Bible and our lives!

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