We should be to the praise of his glory… Ephesians 1:12
On a recent vacation, I encountered many beautiful things: snow covered peaks, bright sunrises, crisp morning walks, majestic cliffs minimizing the souls climbing their steep faces. God is so good to bless me, but one of the greatest ways He shows up in my life is by sending scripture I need from multiple, unrelated sources.
Maybe this has happened to you, too.
The preacher uses a text. The next day, your devotional book references one of the verses from the text. Then the writer of the marriage book you’re working through repeats the same scripture.
It doesn’t take three times before the light goes off, does it?
I always smile when my pastor uses verses I referred to in Sunday school in his sermon. Why? Because it reminds me that God is working behind the scenes to get His message across to us.
Sometimes, I might glance over at my students and think, “Are they remembering that we talked about this in class?’
Most of the time, I think of my students but only for an instant before I ask, “What are you trying to show me from this verse, Lord?”
Because I’ve learned that coincidence in a funny word with three cs in it, but it’s not a characteristic of our Lord. When you create something as simple and complex as an atom, you don’t rely on chance.
Our Mighty God is a planner. He plans for us to “get it” when He sends us a message. But in the event we’re too distracted or obtuse or stubborn, He sends the message through multiple avenues.
For me, it was the uplifting promises the Apostle Paul shared with the church in Ephesus. The preacher where we visited on vacation read Ephesians 1:1-14. The author of the book my husband and I are studying together referred to Ephesians 1:3-14.
The phrase I needed in the throes of over-thinking my life and sinking deeper into depression was repeated in verses twelve and fourteen.
Praise of His Glory
That we should be to the praise of his glory, says verse twelve and unto the praise of his glory ends verse fourteen.
Yes, depression is a real thing, but why was I reveling in it? Why did I succumb to its icy fingers?
What had happened to my daily list of blessings and focus on gratitude? When had I let the negativity of my thoughts take over?
Have you ever tried to make a list of your blessings? If not, you should do it. Set a timer for ten minutes and then start writing.
This is what my list looks like:
- I woke up today
- I could get out of bed
- I have a bed
- I have indoor plumbing
- My muscles worked well enough I could go for a walk (or do a workout video)
- I had freshly ground coffee, a single cup brewer and many clean mugs for the finished drink
- I had electricity to power that appliance and my therapy light
- The Bible (in multiple versions) was at my fingertips on my iPad and I could easily read my portion of the New Testament (I’m reading through the New Testament this year using a reading plan on the YouVersion app).
And that’s all within the first hour of waking up in the morning.
My life should be to the praise of my Lord. Jesus Christ raised my dead spirit and now I have the promise of eternal life with Him. Everything I do should be for His glory.
The long face of depression? That honors no one, and God has promised his grace is sufficient in my weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). How about I say with Paul, “I’m happy to rejoice in my depression so Christ’s power can rest on me”?
How have you experienced the “coincidence” of repetition in your life?