We’ve all seen clickbait titles. Titles like “7 Ways Your Desk Chair Might Be Failing You” and “You Won’t Believe This Dog’s New Do!” A few days ago I clicked on an article that promised to tell me amazing stories of seemingly insignificant moments that ended up being life-changing.
A story of someone who was looking down at his phone at an intersection late at night. Because of that pause, missed being rammed by another car dangerously running a red light. Another story of one guy who waded into a hot tub with his phone in his pocket. The waterlogged phone missed a call, setting off a chain reaction that led to him meeting his future wife. Crazy stuff.
The writer didn’t say anything about God or His sovereignty, but every story illustrated God’s power — even in the details. Even the tiny little parts of our lives — aspects we don’t think much about —are details that God writes into our stories for a purpose.
God’s work in the details is all around us.
I went to a wedding last week. It was an outdoor wedding in a walnut grove in Kansas in June — so it was hot. The bride’s father shared how the bride and groom had first met when they were still preteens.
A college tour for the groom’s older brother brought the two families together. The bride and groom, then only about 9 or 10 years old, played together and with their siblings all day. Family friendships were formed, and one thing led to many more. Then years later, we watched those former 10-year-olds stand hand in hand in front of the minister, waiting to say their vows. —
I recently read a story of an adoptive couple who went to Ethiopia several years ago. They were trying to expedite the process to not only adopt the three children they had planned for, but also the children’s older sister whose case was more complicated. They hurried to a courthouse to get a judge’s signature, only to find the judge was on a three-week vacation. The Ethiopian translator they happened to have with them happened to know the judge’s address. They were able to get the signature right away.
When we think of God at work, we think of the waters parting at the Red Sea or bringing all the founding fathers together at the Continental Congress or the countless stories of His work in the crises of WWII. All these are certainly examples of God’s sovereign power at work. But God also works through last-minute runs to the store and pilots who switch assignments and translators with connections and an older brother’s college visit.
We’ll never know how much God is doing.
“He’s got the whole world in His hands.” We sang those words as kids. Sometimes we forget that includes everything. Our little plans, our disappointments, our mistakes. The unexpected coincidences. God can use it all to wow us with His goodness and His power. Who would have guessed 10 years ago about a summer evening in a walnut grove where a bride and groom would say their vows?
“God is always doing 10,000 things in your life,” John Piper writes, “and you may be aware of three of them.” 10,000 is a lot. There is no way we could ever realize all the things God does in our lives.
If God is working even in these little tiny details and “coincidences,” then He’s taking care of everything else, too. He holds our lives — with all our little tiny worries and needs and details — safely in His hands.
“You do not know what a day may bring,” (Proverbs 27:1) But God does. And He will use it to make beautiful things. Things so much more interesting than some dog’s new do.
How have you seen God work in your life lately? What changes to your plans have you experienced that just might have been the all-powerful care of your Father?