A Powerful Coincidence
By Delene Janke
Coincidence is a funny word. The world is full of amazing coincidences that leave us laughing or scratching our heads as how it could be.
We used the words “luck” and “fate,” but we are reluctant to call it what it really is: Providence; God watching over us; Answered prayer. Coincidence is a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance. And so, it was what my brother called this moment: a coincidence. But I know differently. And I see the irony in the incident and I know that God has a sense of humor.
Our Power Grid
Bonney Lake was not as developed as it is now, and whenever a power failure occurred — usually when it snowed, or someone hit a power pole — everyone for miles around would be out of power for a week or more. Not only would we be out of power, but out of water as well, because the well was run by electricity. This particular year my husband and I had opened our home to the elderly.
We had four ladies living with us and depending on us for safety, cleanliness, and food. Winter was coming and I knew that our electricity regularly disappears. Bonney Lake is usually the last one on the power grid to ‘get fixed’ by the power company, because we are in an outlying area. You have to learn to survive without water and power for a week at a time.
I was concerned. I knew it couldn’t be an ordinary generator; I asked God for an extra BIG generator, because our well was deep and an ordinary generator just wouldn’t keep everything in our house running. I even asked for enough power to share with the neighborhood if things got bad that winter. The other little facet of my problem was I did not happen to have any extra money at that time. So, in essence, I’m praying for a free generator. I didn’t exactly tell God I needed it for FREE, but I was praying for a large generator with no money in my checking account to buy it, even if it appeared and was a very good deal.
A week or so after I began praying, my brother called. He said “Hey, I’m on this jobsite and there is this big green thing here that has some moss on it and it says “ONAN” and I think it’s a giant generator. Would you be interested in a generator? If so, I’ll ask about it.”
I had never mentioned anything to either of my brothers about a generator. In fact, this particular brother would have mocked me if I had shared anything about prayer. He was the one brother who doesn’t really want to hear about my prayers. When he called, I mused inwardly surely it is a little joke between God and me that He used THIS brother to supply my needs. What irony!
I stressed to my brother that I had no money available, and he said, “Not a problem, I’ll just barter it, and you can pay me later.” But how would I haul it? My brother had a big truck and was able to pull it out of the weeds and bring it right to my yard. I never had to do anything but pray! It was indeed a GIANT generator that had been in the Tacoma Library. It was perfectly functional, and my brother did get it with no money out of his pocket, and I paid him a small sum after winter was over.
Did the power go out? Yes, it did.
The power in our neighborhood went out for eight days. Not only did we have water, but lights even Christmas lights when the whole area was DARK and seemingly dead for miles around. Did our neighbors want to know how we had power when they didn’t?
Yes, they did. Could they come over for warm food or sleep in our living room and take a shower? Yes, they could. Did I tell them about the prayer for a generator while they were there? Yes, I did!
That season, those Christmas lights were a testimony to the power of God. My husband saw it and couldn’t believe it, my brother heard about it and said it was a coincidence, our neighbors witnessed the lights and benefited from the heat and water, and all because God honored my request.
Praise God for listening to details and caring about us! The word ‘coincidence’ should be taken out of the Christian vocabulary, for surely anyone who is a son or daughter of Christ knows differently.
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light!” Genesis 1:3