The Eight Most Profound Truths We Have Learned by Lisa Burkhardt Worley and Dr. Lynnette Simm (Part 6)
#6 There are no coincidences in life.
I took a three-day Sabbatical this week to ask for God’s direction on a number of things and, as I found out, to get some much needed rest. I stayed at a fancy beach hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida, the historical Don Cesar, also known as “The Pink Palace,” only because a prophetic friend of mine saw me there. I promise there was no coercion involved! I did get a great rate through Expedia.
Once I arrived, my husband, Jeff, who paid for this trip, asked “Have you figured out why God sent you to the Don Cesar?” A businessman, I’m sure he wanted to know there was a return on his investment. I wasn’t sure how to answer his question, but I started off with a spa service to relax. I found out the aesthetician, named “Jo Ann,” had an alcoholic father and I shared about my book, The Only Father I Ever Knew, with her. She said she always asks that she will meet someone who will help her “grow.” I asked her if she wanted a copy of my book to help her overcome her father wounds and she said yes, so I dropped one by the next day. Coincidence?
I have always heard God’s voice most clearly near water, so I took my Bible and notepad to the beach to read and listen each day. The young man who helped me with my umbrella and beach chair was named Christopher. Christopher had graduated from college the year before, but hadn’t found a job in the field of film animation yet. We immediately had a connection because of our mutual interest in media. He told me he was a Christian, so I prayed with him on the beach to find a job. Coincidence?
In order to answer my husband’s question, “Why are you at the Don Cesar?” I did some research on the hotel. It was designed by architect Henry S. Dupont, and opened by developer Thomas Rowe in 1928. It was purchased by the U.S. Government and used as a hospital during World War II. The government eventually didn’t need it anymore and it became an eyesore, covered with graffiti.
There were plans to demolish this magnificent structure and start over, but then Thomas Bowman saved the day, buying the hotel and spending 7.5 million to refurbish it to make it look like the grand place it is today. I thought, My life could have been on the road to demolition but then Jesus saved me and made a new creation out of me. I am thankful Jesus cared enough to stop my self-destruction.Coincidence?
I still wasn’t sure this was why I was at the Don Cesar. I know I could have had a similar experience with the Lord at a less ostentatious hotel.
I didn’t have my answer until my two night stay was over and I left to go to the airport. I decided to use my Uber App for the first time. I had taken Ubers a number of times with my husband or friends, but had never used the service myself. I will admit I was a little nervous since I was alone, but my driver was a nice guy, and to protect his identity, I will call him Donny.
Donny, who picked me up in his blue Camry, was very engaging and began to tell me his story. He was a caregiver for his mom who he was very close to. “My mom is all I have,” he said. He had suffered a heart attack himself at age twenty-nine, but survived. I asked Donny, “Do you know where you will spend eternity if something like this every happens again?” He did not know but seemed reluctant to pray at that moment. I also found out Donny had a difficult relationship with his father, although it got better before his dad passed away. Something told me to tuck in an extra one of my father books before I left to go to Florida so I promised to give that last book to him. However, I knew I couldn’t leave the Uber without offering Donny one more chance to pray to receive Jesus. He was struggling. He needed hope. This time he said yes, and he prayed a prayer to receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, just as we made our way into Tampa International Airport.
Was it a coincidence that I was in Donny’s car for my first Uber drive? I don’t think so, but one thing I know for sure, this is why I was at the Don Cesar, so another soul would see eternity. Donny lived close by and he probably would not have been my Uber driver if I’d stayed anywhere else.
I believe God saw Donny’s pain and loved him so much that he placed me in his vehicle and allowed me to pray with him. What a privilege!
Is there such a thing as a coincidence? I have come to believe that there are no coincidences in life. I heard a great term yesterday—that God “dispatches” His people to where they need to be in order to help others. He makes us available to share hope, to give an encouraging word, and to introduce those we encounter to a relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. Are you looking for those opportunities?
Do you believe in coincidences? (LBW)
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails (Proverbs 19:21).