“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’
When the truck in which you’re a passenger hits black ice and flips into a snow-filled ditch, the first words you’d want to hear might be: “I’m a nurse. I’m here to help you.”
Cory and Lynsey Jones, my son and daughter-in-law, were delayed in leaving Saskatoon for a 2014 family Christmas celebration in Delmas, Saskatchewan. They were just east of North Battleford when a black pickup truck accelerated past them.
A hundred yards down the road, the driver was trying to settle the Ford 150 back into its lane when she hit black ice and started to fishtail. The pickup ended up in a sideways slide down the highway before slipping into the ditch and flipping onto its roof.
Cory was already dialing 911 as Lynsey pulled their Nissan Rogue over to the shoulder of the highway. They dug away the snow to get to the driver’s side door. A young student and her grandmother were trapped inside. What looked like smoke was beginning to rise from the under-carriage. After getting the driver out, Lynsey calmly crawled through the door and said, “I’m a nurse. I’m here to help you. Are you hurt?”
“I’m Norwegian, and it’s gonna take a lot more than this to kill me,” the woman replied.
What are the odds that a day later, after being treated for only a minor neck injury, that feisty Norwegian grandma would be calling Lynsey her “angel”?
When you are facing a double diagnosis of cancer, you need all the help you can get. Chemotherapy and radiation treatments had left my friend, Kathy, suffering from severe nausea, exhaustion and unease. She knew she was in good hands with the medical personnel at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton, Alberta. What she wanted was the assurance that she was safe in God’s hands and that He would see her through.
On her way to radiation treatment two days before Christmas, she and her husband, Jim, ended up driving behind a Chevy Avalanche. The truck had a vanity licence plate containing five letters creatively arranged to convey a timely message: UL B OK. The message left them momentarily speechless. And if you knew Kathy, you’d call that a second miracle.
What are the odds of a cancer patient praying for reassurance and then ending up behind a vehicle with a licence plate declaring, “You’ll be OK”?
When you’ve travelled 80 kilometres on a donkey in your third trimester of a scandalous pregnancy, you need a place to rest body and mind. Your reputation is sullied. Your family doesn’t believe your story of a miraculous conception. On top of all that has happened over the past nine months, the arduous trip has left you too weary to resist the onslaught of doubt.
A stable is no place to deliver your first-born, attended to by farm animals and an anxious husband. As you nestle your son into the feed trough, you ask for a sign, for some reassurance from the God who started this whole thing. Do you expect it to come from the mouths of breathless shepherds?
“An angelic host … good news … great joy … a Saviour … peace on earth … God’s favour … a baby lying in a manger!”
What are the odds that the very words you needed to hear would come from these least likely of messengers?
Call them what you like—coincidences, acts of providence or “God winks”—but when your faith needs reassuring, they are what you can expect. The Lord has a timely way of letting you know that He’s got His eye on you, and that you are never alone.
Like Mary, Kathy, and a Norwegian grandma, we are left to simply ponder these things in our hearts and take comfort in their message.
Robert W. Jones is the senior pastor of North Pointe Community Church in Edmonton, Alta. He blogs at http://blog.northpointechurch.ca.
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This article appears in the November/December 2015 issue of testimony.
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