Sunday, September 23, 2007

Coinkadink Versus Faith in God

When my daughter was about 7 or 8 she used to pronounce coincidence, co-ink-a-dink. To this day I can’t get her wonderful pronunciation out of my head. In some schools of faith, coincidence, even pronounced in such a fun way, is “taboo”. For them it gives the impression that God is not at work and the person who has the presumption to use it, has no “faith”. I’ve probably even been guilty of a frown or two if I heard someone use such a faithless word.

I heard this story a few days ago from a pastor friend that sent shivers through me and made me appreciate “co ink a dinks” a whole lot more. Apparently there is a man of God who travels the world but has difficulty adjusting to the various extreme weather conditions that is par for the course for travelers. Because of his “great” faith he is able to pray and it seems that everywhere he goes the weather is moderated to give him some relief. Even the local people are thrilled when he shows up because nobody enjoys stifling 40 degree weather. A breath of fresh air always announces the arrival of the prophet and what a wonderful signal that God favours him. Wow, if people of faith got their act together, they could go around the world stopping typhoons and droughts.

Here’s the but for this story. When the prophet was visiting a desert country with extreme high heat and no rain, sure enough he prayed for a cooling rain and it came. In this particular area, rain at that time of year was almost unheard of. People were pleased that a man with his own faith thermostat for weather had shown up. Whatever he says must surely be from God, as God even accommodates the weather for this man. The apostle Paul should have taken lessons so that he could have avoided those times when he was naked and COLD. 2 Cor. 11:27. But I digress.

The next morning the newspaper was filled with stories about the unusual weather. Not so much the weather, as the circumstances that ensued from the unexpected rain. A flash flood had resulted when the baked ground could not absorb the rain and two brothers that had been hiking in the nearby foothills were killed. So as the people of God were rejoicing that their local prophet had demonstrated his faith in God, a mother was in total despair over the loss of her sons.

The most shocking part of this story is that it was repeated to me as a testimony of how God wants to work in the little details our lives and if we have enough faith, He may even manage the weather for us. No consideration was given for the glaring, monstrous absurdity that it cost a mother, two sons, so that a man of God would not have to put up with the hot weather that the local people have always endured. It would have been quite the conversation to listen in on, if the grieving mother knew this man of God.

I know it’s not proper faith talk to use the “coincidence” cop out. But when confronted with such a perplexing travesty, how important is it to continue to succumb to the overused, have faith in God mantra? Would that answer satisfy the grieving mother or any other sane person who hears this story?

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