Saturday, February 1, 2003

Coincidence or Destiny?

by Blake Cromwell

I believe our steps in life are more than just chance and that there is a divine design for our lives. The Bible teaches us that God plans our lives and selects for each one of us good works to do in life. “We are God’s master piece, He plans our lives and creates good deeds for us to do in life” (Ephesians 2:10). I don’t believe we need search hard and long to find good deeds to do, God has already planned to put them in our path. Our part is to open our eyes and see the divine destiny in the normal routines of life.

Over the years I have become more aware of God’s hand on the details of my life. I am excited about what is going to happen next because of all the wonderful “coincidences” that have happened in the past. Some of these coincidences have been small and almost unnoticeable and others have amazed me.

In 1980, I took my first trip to Mexico to visit friends I had meet while attending Bible College in Dallas Texas. Xavier and his wife Darlene were starting a new church in Guadalajara and another friend Chan was helping a small Mexican church in Colima.

That first trip lasted less than a week but after twenty-two years that week still affects my life. The contacts I made and the people I met are still a large part of my daily life. The decision to go and visit two Bible School friends now seems more than a coincidence to me, it seems like destiny.

That first trip would be so significant that in the eighties my family and I would move to Mexico. We struggled and learned Spanish. I am sure that my Hanford High School Spanish Teacher would have told you, ‘If Blake ever learned Spanish it would be a miracle.’ While in Mexico we helped to pastor a local church and develop a Bible Institute in Puebla.

On that first trip, I also met a Mexican pastor, Nahum Gutierrez who we would later help to start homes for abandoned children. One of the blessings for our church every Christmas is gift each child in these homes a new set of clothes and a special toy for their enjoyment.
Nahum sends us a picture of every child and then we arrange each photo as ornaments on a Christmas tree. Every year I see the miracle of generosity unfold before my eyes as these kids’ pictures are taken home and gifts are sent out. I remember that first trip and there is a knowing that life is more than chance, it has divine destiny.

Three weeks ago there was an earthquake in Colima, Mexico. You may have read about it in the Sentinel or seen it on the evening news. I called Nahum to ask about the children’s homes and the city. He told me that the quake didn’t damage any of the children homes but that the city didn’t fair as well.

He is spearheading an organization of local churches and assessing the needs of poor families whose homes have been badly damaged. Already eighty families have applied for assistance. I asked Nahum how much money had been given to this project. When he told me that he only had $1600 for this project, I had that inner knowing that the trip I had taken so long ago had been part of God’s plan for my life. He didn’t have to ask me to help, God had already planted that in me long before.

I guess some would say it was just natural to call a friend after reading about an earthquake in his city. No doubt most of our lives are natural decisions that lead to a good deed God has planned for us to do. We mustn’t miss the supernatural in the natural.

That morning I began to call family, friends and churches to see if they would join me in giving to repairing these homes. After a few hours on the phone a handful of people had given a thousand of dollars towards repairing these homes. The money is still coming in and everyday I realize this all is destiny and not chance.

Destiny from God awaits us all. It may come in helping someone in a stalled car or by running into an old friend who has been though a divorce and needs our love and encouragement.

How we respond to these coincidences really does matter. If we simply brush them off we will miss an opportunity to fulfill a “good deed” God prepared for us long ago. In 2003, begin to believe that God has already planned for you “good deeds” to do. Be on the look out for them and be ready to ask Him to help you be a blessing to others.