Just as you approach a long checkout line at the supermarket they announce that “lane six is open with no waiting” and you are right in front of lane six. You quickly aim your shopping cart into that direction and you are out of there in no time.

You approach the elevators and precisely when you push the button the door opens. You step in and are on your way without a moment’s hesitation.

The weather is terrible as you enter the overflowing parking lot hoping to find a space close to the entrance. You prepare to circle as long as it takes but someone comes to their car parked right at the entrance to the mall. You gladly wait for them to leave and you park almost at the door.

You are about to purchase an item and someone comes just ahead of you and reduces the price dramatically. Since this is such a bargain you buy several.

You are in line to buy cheap seats for the ballgame. A kind woman walks up with tickets for the most expensive seats in the stadium and gives them to you. Yea!

As you arrive at the gate for your departing flight an announcement is made. The flight is overbooked and the airline is making an extremely generous offer for those who are willing to take the next flight an hour later. You have plenty of time and you can use the voucher for an upcoming vacation so you take it.

You hear the winter storm warning and are able to immediately head home. Many people wait a little longer before leaving work or abandoning their plans. You arrive home in minutes and watch as thousands are stranded in their cars in sub-freezing temperatures, some for more than twenty-four hours.

You lose an item of considerable monetary or sentimental value and you are heart sick. Then the seemingly miraculous happens. Someone finds it and returns it to you.

A terrible storm passes through and many of your neighbors’ homes suffer major damage but somehow your house is untouched.

If you have experienced any of the situations described above or something similar, what was your reaction? Did you think, “I must be living right.” Or, “God was looking out for me.” Or did you think, “I was just lucky.”

Was your good fortune the result of divine intervention as a reward for your faith or was it simply the “luck of the draw?”

There are people whose image of God is either One sitting in a giant control room and calling all the shots or a cosmic puppeteer pulling the strings and all human beings are the puppets. In their opinion everything good that happens to them is because they deserve it. It is helpful to remember that “God gives his best- the sun to warm and the rain to nourish- to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty.” (Matthew 5:45, The Message)

Some folks believe that every misfortune or bad circumstance is the result of an angry God or punishment for misdeeds. If that is true the biblical prophets, Jesus’ disciples, and many giants of faith were under God’s judgment. If our circumstances are unpleasant we are reminded that “trials and troubles… taken in the right spirit will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character, and a character of this sort produces a steady hope, a hope that will never disappoint us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

Jamie Jenkins

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