In the last month, I have had three same-day cancellations of appointments on days where I had a full schedule. In each case, I had three other patients call and take those appointments at the last minute. They told me when I saw them that they urgently needed to see me and were so glad I had an opening. I told them that I knew that God had worked it out so that I had an opening to see them since I had started the day with a full schedule and that I’m so grateful that He’s in control.
Serendipity is defined as the occurrence of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. Coincidence is a situation in which events happen at the same time in a way that is not planned or expected. In both cases, it is assumed that the events happen by chance. Serendipity is essentially a happy coincidence.
I am quite sure that when we get to heaven, we will see clearly that many of the things we labeled as coincidences or serendipity were actually situations where God chose to intervene in our lives; we could term it a “God-cidence”.
A biblical definition of coincidence would be “what occurs together by God’s providential arrangement of circumstances.” What appears to us as random chance is in fact overseen by a sovereign God who knows the number of hairs on every head (see Luke 12). Jesus said that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father’s notice (see Matthew 10). In Isaiah 46:9-11, God states unequivocally that He is in charge of everything: “I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.” (taken from gotquestions.org)
Some people say, “I got lucky” when something good happens to them. I say my “luck”is actually L.U.C.K. = Living Under Christ’s Kingship. “He is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21
God brings His sovereignty into the chaos of our lives because He loves us so much. That is not to say that our lives will cease to be messy or become perfect when we invite God into our lives. God is able to intervene in any and every situation where we face danger, difficulty or pain. He may keep us from going through the situation at all, sometimes even using angels to accomplish it. Other times, He may allow us to enter into the situation and be with us in the midst of it, saving us in it by giving us comfort, help, encouragement, and provision. He may also choose to save us through the situation when we receive the ultimate salvation, the salvation of our souls, even though our physical bodies die.
So the next time events seem to line up in a way that seems like mere coincidence or serendipity, take a moment to thank God for His role in bringing things about. He is more involved in our lives than we know, and cares more deeply than anyone about our spiritual, mental and physical well-being. Thanks be to God!