Gibbs, a character on the television show NCIS, lives by a set of rules which he also has taught to his team. Over the seven (so far) seasons of the show, some of these rules have been revealed. Rule #39 states: There is no such thing as coincidence.
Something in me wants to counter that with “Just because there is no such thing as a coincidence, that doesn’t mean everything is part of a plot to take over the world.”
I’ve been recently running into circumstances that really can’t simply be written off as coincidence. Really. And I’m quick to jump to that conclusion. The next jump — the one that attributes intentionality or responsibility — that one takes a bit more time. Thought. Discernment. Faith.
I’m not one to blame the devil for complications most of the time. Sometimes copy machines break and it’s not a plot. Or…?
Okay, before I drown in my own contemplations about God being in control of everything living in uncomfortable juxtaposition with our freedom to choose one path or another…the most striking confrontations recently with this general concept have been a bit different than that.
I’ve heard quite a few stories of people who are seeing mighty movements of God in areas where God has been all but shut out for a long time. With those stories are side-bar stories of the statistically improbable frequency at which those who are involved as willing (even enthusiastic) servants of these works of God are experiencing all manner of attack. Health issues. Political complications. Relational stresses. And the list goes on.
Coincidence? I think not. And not because Gibbs says so.
All of this makes my head spin sometimes. And it takes me to my knees when I’m not so distracted by the unsubstantiated witch hunts and rabbit trails.
So really, let’s not give up praying for each other because the days are complicated and the enemy is the father of deception and discouragement.