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Can something happen by chance?

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By Al Earley

I am not sure where I found these, but I was entertained. Some people are kind, polite, and sweet-spirited, until you try to sit in their pews. Many folks want to serve God, but only as advisors. When you get to your wit’s end, you’ll find God lives there. People are funny; they want the front of the bus, the middle of the road, and the back of the church. Quit griping about your church; if it was perfect, you couldn’t belong. If the church wants a better pastor, it only needs to pray for the one it has. Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

This last one is something I want to look at more deeply. Can something happen by chance? Atheists contend since there is no God then everything happens by chance. The biggest example is the existence of the universe, which they contend happened completely by chance. In direct contradiction to this way of thinking are the words from Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen…” As a believer in God as the creator of the universe there are an infinite number of amazing and miraculous characteristics of the universe that point to an intelligent designer.

For example, it is interesting that we live in a cause and effect universe. The natural law that supports this fact of creation is “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” It seems to me that if the universe happened “by chance” it is a huge stretch to be able to count on the laws of physics, like cause and effect, to be true.

I am not going to argue further against the views of atheists today. I believe we live in an ordered universe, created by God. This God knows all things, and therefore there are no coincidences. The Bible expresses clearly in Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

Musician John Thomas Oaks told this story in the November/December issue of Christian Reader. On a chilly November day in Manhattan, he was playing at the Starbucks Café on 51st & Broadway. John was playing tunes from the ‘40’s to ‘90’s on his keyboard, and doing back up singing with his partner. He noticed a lady in a chair swaying and singing along with “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” Afterward, she apologized for singing. John asked if she would like to sing the next selection. She asked if he knew any hymns. John picked “His Eye Is on the Sparrow.” Everyone in Starbucks listened attentively as they sang: “I sing because I’m happy, sing because I’m free. For His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.” The people in Starbucks gave her a thunderous applause. She turned to John and said, “It’s funny you picked that hymn. It was my daughter’s favorite. She was sixteen. She died last week of a brain tumor. I’m gonna be OK. I keep trusting the Lord and singing His songs.” Was all this just a coincidence of time, place, people and a hymn? Hardly, if you believe in how God intervenes in our lives at just the right moment.

Has anything happened recently that seems like a coincidence? If you consider God was behind it does it seem more like a gift? If God knows everything about you, and loves you with an infinite love, then can there really be coincidences in your life?

I think God has been arranging encounters in human history since the beginning of time. There are no coincidences. He weaves all the pieces of your life together into a beautiful tapestry. Take some time to look back at your life, and see how beautifully all the pieces, the good and the hard pieces, actually fit together.

Al Early is the pastor of La Grange Presbyterian Church. To see more go to lagrangepres.com