Small Coincidences

WhyIt starts with me crawling in bed, curling up with my nightly devotional, On Asking God Why by Elisabeth Elliot. I read my evening’s chapter — a thought provoking piece on pride and judgement. I finish the chapter and before I turn out the lights, I flip the last page to read the title of tomorrow’s reading: “Have It Your Way — Or God’s.” I turn off the lamp and slide the book onto the box under my bed.

It’s the following afternoon, and I’m sitting at my computer, trying unsuccessfully to write. I’m looking for some biographical info about Elisabeth Elliot. I visit her website. The information I want isn’t readily available. I see a tab for the daily devotional section, and I decide to take a look. I have recently heard her online devotionals. I lower my eyes to the title of the day’s reading: “Have It Your Way — Or God’s.”

It’s the exact same essay as the one printed in my book. The exact one. I wonder, is God trying to tell me something?

I read the chapter, expecting fireworks. My eyes eagerly fly across the lines of text, looking for the thunder of God’s voice speaking to me.

I don’t find what I expect.

Instead of fireworks, the soft, familiar glow of a candle. Instead of thunder, a whispering reminder.

I receive a good many letters from young people who are utterly at sea about their life’s choices — college, career, marriage. They are faced with too many alternatives. The seeming limitlessness overwhelms, unsettles, often even paralyzes them. […] Why not stop bothering about what you want, I suggest to them. Find out what your Master wants.

The theme of my life these days is decision. I’m overwhelmed by this seemingly limitless sea of choices. The future is broad and long, and the Master’s voice seems too still and small to rise above the din of the waves.

I know better than to chase the I wants. I’ve put them on the alter and walked away, eyes wide for the Master’s leading. But bitterness and doubt have a way of creeping under our spiritual fences and choking out our discernment. Like Lot’s wife, I look back at the I wants, wishing, dreaming, wondering why I have to leave them behind. I shift my eyes ahead again and the fear threatens to overtake me — where is my Master? How do I know which way he wants me to go?


Through small coincidences like this one, my Master reminds me to rest. Wait upon him. Find out what he wants. He will lead me, if only I leave the I wants on the alter where they belong, if only I fix my eyes on him.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s