Coincidence is simply God’s way of remaining anonymous, as evidenced by this story by Bonnie Kidder of Lafayette, Louisiana, which appeared in the September 2009 issue of Guideposts.
I almost hadn’t come to the class at church that night. With four kids and a full-time teaching job, I had plenty to do.
But my 11-year-old son, Brady, was having surgery the next day. I hated to think of him alone in the operating room. I’d been praying for weeks, asking God to be with Brady and his doctors during surgery, but it didn’t feel like enough.
Standing in the doorway of the church hall I couldn’t believe how many people had showed up for this class. It looked like more than a hundred were seated at the tables scattered throughout the hall—but not a familiar face among them.
No one I can ask to pray with me for Brady. I sat down at a table next to a dark-haired man, but the instructor immediately asked us to move. “Let’s fill in all these vacant chairs up front,” she said. The dark-haired man got up to look for another seat. I crossed the room to an empty chair. But just as I got there, someone else took it. I spotted another chair at the next table. The same thing happened again. And again.
I did not come here for a game of musical chairs, I thought as I made a beeline for another chair. I flung myself into it and turned to see…the same dark-haired man I’d left behind. “We meet again,” he said as the instructor stood to speak.
“Tonight I thought we’d talk about our lives outside of church,” she said. “Everybody share with the people at your table how you work your faith into your daily life.”
The dark-haired man said, “I’m an anesthesiologist. Before I put a patient under, I pray for him. I ask each patient if they’d like to pray too. I used to be embarrassed about this . . .”
“I think it’s wonderful!” I interrupted. “My son is having surgery tomorrow. I’d feel so much better if his doctor could pray with him.”
“Where is his surgery?” he asked.
I mentioned the hospital. “Dr. Duplechain is doing the operation.”
“Then I can assure you that your son will be surrounded by prayer,” he said, “because I’m the one scheduled to be taking him into the operating room.”
In a room full of strangers, God had seated me—twice!—next to the one man who could pray with me tonight and my son in the morning.
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If you feel more stressed than blessed . . . if you have more confusion than clarity about how to live your beliefs . . . if you long to live a richer, happier, more meaningful life . . . you will find a wealth of insight and guidance in Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World.
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