Pastor's Pen
by Buzz Dahlen
Coincidence or God’s design, have you ever wondered about those things that happened in your life?  It just seems like I have had more then my share over these past few months.  People calling at just the right time; Crossing a person’s path that you needed to talk with; Meeting someone that has just what you need, or being united with someone you haven’t seen in years.  There are plenty more things that happen, that too often we take for granted and put in the category of coincidence.
One of the hardest things to get a hold of is the idea that God, the supreme creator of everything, has any idea that we exist, or much harder to grasp is that not only can we have a personal relationship with God, but that He wants to have a personal relationship with us.  Its just hard to believe that this big God, who controls the universe is involved in our lives on a daily, no, moment by moment basis.  How does He do it?  Well the answer is simple He’s God.
You might disagree and say that God is not involved in your life.  Are you sure?  Have you ever given any thought to what keeps your heart pumping?  Have you stopped to consider how your lungs continue to function without your attention or any effort on your part.  There are other things, too, like I mentioned before.  Recently I was at a going away party of some friends who will be gone to Latvia for two years.  While I sat and visited with one of the guests, a couple walked in and was greeted by my friend who is leaving.  Whether she mentioned my name or the guest just heard my voice, is still unclear, but she blurted out, “Is that Buzz?!”  She only looked familiar to me, but she knew who I was.  This was Andy, as I knew her when I was a senior in High School.  We dated back then.  Apparently, she is a very close friend to my friend who is leaving to live in Latvia.  Coincidence or divine appointment?  Time will only tell why God put this person back into my life at this time.
Life is a lot like a jigsaw puzzle, isn’t it?  Do you know what a jigsaw puzzle is?  A picture of something, someone or somewhere is taken, printed out and glued onto a piece of cardboard.  Then someone cuts it up into small pieces and puts it in a box.  For us, God has a picture of what our life looks like.  He then takes the picture, cuts it up into moments, and puts it into a box, which we call our body.  When we are born, we begin to put our puzzle together. 
Have you ever been working on a jigsaw puzzle and looked, for what seemed like hours, for a particular piece, only to have someone come and stand behind you and reach down and pick up a piece, after what seems like just seconds, and place that piece where it belongs?  It never fails, after that piece is in its place you are able to put so many more pieces in their places.  That is like one of those things that we call, coincidences.  It is God placing a piece in your puzzle, a person or experience in your life that allows so many other pieces to “fall” into place.
Our challenge is that we do not have the picture to look at to help us along the way.  We do have a picture of Jesus, given to us in God’s word and if we stay focused on Jesus we will be able to put this puzzle, we call life, together.  We also have the promise that God sees the picture.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11
With any jigsaw puzzle, there are times when we put pieces in the wrong place, they seem to fit or maybe we try to force pieces in where they do not belong.  When we do the picture becomes distorted.  Hopefully, we will see our mistake and take the pieces out that we have forced into the wrong places.  Again, the good news is that God sees the picture and He is committed to completing this puzzle with us.  God promises; “I will never leave you nor forsake you… Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9  

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