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God Makes No Mistakes

"Good luck. Best of luck. You lucked out on that one. Today is your lucky day." We've all heard these statements, maybe even said them. But what are they founded on? Proverbs 16:4 reminds us that "The LORD has made everything for its purpose," meaning there are no coincidences. In fact, Brian Miller reminds us today that everything happens for a purpose and, using a recent example from his own life, shows how God, not fate, is the author of our story.
Those who have read my newspaper columns will recognize a familiar refrain: I don’t believe in luck, chance, fate, or whatever else you like to call it.
The reason is simple: God’s Word rejects it unequivocally. To be succinct, I don’t believe in coincidence. I do, however, believe without a doubt in Divine appointment, which has become especially apparent recently.

We’ve seen in hindsight how He uses circumstances to move us and use us, often in spite of ourselves.

This past month, as I was running through various ideas on what to write about here, I kept coming back to the recurring theme “God makes no mistakes.” Because I―we―tend to be good at breaking stuff, it’s a good thing to know the Great Physician.
My wife Bethany and I bear witness to His healing in our own lives when he mended each of us when we were broken and called on Him. We’ve witnessed His guiding hand again and again. He has never failed to deliver on any of His promises. We’ve seen in hindsight how He uses circumstances to move us and use us, often in spite of ourselves. He uses our predicaments for His glory as we come to glimpse a little more of the bigger picture. He is faithful, even when we are not. I like the Berean Standard Bible translation of Hebrews 10:23:

“Let us hold resolutely to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”

The emphasis is mine, for He’s the one who gives us the ability to hold resolutely to that sure hope because of His faithfulness.
So it was that, at 3 a.m. on a mid-January night, on an icy, snow-covered, and beautiful but lonely stretch of highway between Walker and Remer in central Minnesota, we were “unlucky” when a deer hopped out in front of us.
It is said that God looks after “drunks, fools, and small children.” He also looked after a “stubborn Finn” who insisted on finding a path through a winter storm this past Christmas night on the way out to his wife’s brother’s house in the Black Hills so she could be there in time to witness the birth of her next niece and celebrate Christmas with her family.
Of course, the baby waited over an extra week to come, so our haste was unnecessary and our stay a bit longer than expected, but as we headed northeast for our northern Minnesota home, we still had just over a week to prepare to host Carl Kerby for what turned out to be a wonderful youth winter apologetics retreat. Our plan was to leave the week after that event for our place on South Padre Island, TX.
God had other plans for us, and He prepared a big doe for a sacrifice to implement them.
My wife and I hardly heard or felt the “whump” when that deer wrapped itself around the passenger side of our front bumper. Our dog Case didn’t even lift his head curled up in the back seat.
Over and over, I played in my head the sequence of events during the last three hours of the trip. For some reason, the doe took my tap on the gas for a starter pistol’s crack and bolted straight into my path.
I had a conversation with myself. Why didn’t you brake? You would have missed it. Dummy. But by the end of the trip, or maybe it was the next morning, a novel idea dawned on me. Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is? That collision was ordained by God. Are you going to keep rehashing it or accept it and seek out the reason He ordained this delay?
As I’m writing this blog late at night from a hotel room in beautiful Fredericksburg, TX, we are on the road to our place on SPI. It’s six weeks later than we had planned to travel this year. It will be a short stay.
It’s been a blessed trip so far as it just so happened that the one night we were staying at Bethany’s parents’ in Kansas, we got to watch her cousin Gavin’s team rally from 11 down with under four minutes to play to win a state basketball championship and complete an undefeated season. Earlier tonight, we were able to have dinner with our former pastor on South Padre. Tomorrow, we meet my folks, brother, his wife, and two of my nieces in San Antonio.
If that was all it was, that would be great, but God is far more bountiful than that. It’s now been two months since accepting that God had that deer labeled for us, in His perfect timing.

It is funny (though it shouldn’t be) how God can use us when we are empty of ourselves, our plans, and our pride and are willing to be used.

Shortly thereafter, Bethany and I talked about knowing the accident wasn’t happenstance. We then prayed specifically that God would show us why He delayed us and that He would provide us with opportunities to reflect His light to others and share the love of the gospel in the interim.
It is funny (though it shouldn’t be) how God can use us when we are empty of ourselves, our plans, and our pride and are willing to be used. The problem is that we all have our vain plans, rough edges, and blind spots, and He’s constantly refining us and opening our eyes to those things. It truly is all accomplished by Him working through us, not us working to please Him.

Philippians 1:6 NKJV
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” 

Sadly, too often, we miss out on the abundant opportunities He affords us because we have our blinders on and are focused on our own little patch of racetrack. I’ll admit I missed out on plenty, even as He showered me with so many opportunities.
God has, in no uncertain terms, made it apparent to us why He changed our plans, but my tendency for verbosity is renowned, so I’ll keep it simple with a couple of reasons/prayer requests.
  • Bethany has become close friends with a new co-worker, one whom she is uniquely equipped to minister to, and that friendship blossomed in our extra time up north. The friend has been intent on “finding my path back to God,” and she attended Sunday worship services with us the entire time we were home after Christmas and has been devouring God’s Word.

Here’s the thing. Her husband is very upset that his wife is seeking after God. He’s angry with God for reasons unknown and mocks her, especially the last Sunday we were home, for attending not one but two services that day.

Newlyweds, she and her husband picked our little town out of all the little towns in America to up and move to from the East Coast out of the blue last summer after they got married. They bought a house just two blocks from ours. The family that employs her are believers. The husband’s boss is a believer. So is the family that lives next door to them. So, he’s smack dab in the middle of people who know and love Christ. Coincidence? I think not. Please pray for resolve for the young wife in pursuit of God and for a softening of the husband’s heart―for him to see a difference in the lives of those Christians around him.
  • Also, through the winter retreat, my wife and I have developed a friendship with another couple, youth group leaders at another local church. When Gus invited me, I started attending an uplifting weekly men’s Bible study at their garage. I had that opportunity because we were still in Minnesota. It’s led to many relationship connections and encouragements and opportunities to come along side.

Proverbs 27:17
"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another."

  • That led to an opportunity a couple of days before we finally hit the road. Years after sharing with him while living a life that didn’t reflect the message, I was able to give my best friend from that past life a Gospel of John and urge him to seek after God with all his heart as the following verse from Jeremiah encouraged me to do a half a lifetime ago.

Jeremiah 29:13
"You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."

Please pray for the Spirit to open my dear friend’s eyes to his need for Jesus.
Often, we can get caught up in and caught off-guard by our circumstances. But when we understand God’s control over all our situations, that every single person we meet is an opportunity, and if we’re ready always to give an answer for the hope that is within us with humility and respect (1 Peter 3:15), well, God just might be able to use us in spite of ourselves.
Again, I go to the BSB translation:

Ephesians 3:20-21
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Trust me. If He watches over, cares for, and somehow uses this reticent Finn, He’ll do the same for you―immeasurably more than you can ask or even think of.
When we recognize that God truly makes no mistakes, it makes life a lot easier to live, our troubles a whole lot lighter, our paths so much brighter, and our vision a lot clearer to see others the way He sees them.

Psalm 18:30
"As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him."

Author Bio:
Brian Miller is a longtime newspaper columnist and freelance writer. He and his wife Bethany, a fellow “preacher’s kid,” are currently residing on South Padre Island, TX. Brian seeks to use lessons learned in his life of God’s unchanging love, grace, mercy, and faithfulness to bring hope to others who may be struggling. You may write to him at bd1976@pm.me.

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