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Coincidence or Tender Mercy?

Looking Back and Moving Forward.
When – April 2008 (16 years ago)
Where – Conference Centre, Salt Lake City, Utah.
What – General Conference Weekend
Who – the Kleijwegs and the Watsons
Why – I met Chris Kleijweg and Kenneth Johnson for the first time in October 2005, when they extended a call to me to serve as President of the Dundee Scotland Stake. A few weeks later Chris challenged me to attend General Conference with our new Stake Presidency, together with our wife’s.
A year passed by, and Chris’s church assignment changed.
We lost contact.
Little did he know that we were planning a trip to Salt Lake City for the conference sessions in the spring of 2008. It turned out to be the weekend when Thomas S. Monson was sustained as President of the Church.
And then the coincidence. Or was it?
Walking out of the conference centre, that holds 21,000 people, who do we bump into, in the crowds? – the Kleijweg’s!
It was a beautiful reunion.
Little did we know that they would be there!

Coincidence?

Recently, I shared this quote from Gerald N. Lund and I want to share it again… “Sometimes blessings come in such an unusual manner and with such precise timing that they accomplish something in addition to blessing us. They so clearly confirm the reality of God’s existence that they buoy us up in times of trials.”
I believe that a coincidence is not a coincidence when the Lord is involved in what happens. It is in fact His hand, His divine signature if you will.
He is much more involved in our daily lives than we give Him credit for. His Heavenly influence can and does impact the direction of people’s lives, and those things that move God’s work along amongst His children.
As the years passed by, we were both assigned in Public Affairs & Communications, in the UK and the Netherlands respectively.
Recently the roles were reversed, when I called Chris to be a counsellor in the Presidency of the Belgium Netherlands Mission, along with a new friend, Jurgen Hoole.
I know that some of the sweetest experiences in my life have come as I feel His promptings as He directs His work.
Likewise, I also know that when we are striving to do God’s will, He is anxious to bless each one of us with incredible “coincidences” – or in scriptural terms, “a tender mercy of the Lord”.
The Lord’s house is a house of order, and I know He is in charge.

Signatures

“That simply cannot be…” I thought puzzlingly to myself – “another 𝒄𝒐𝒊𝒏𝒄𝒊𝒅𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆?”
Let me explain……
Coincidence – “an occasion when two or more similar things happen at the same time, especially in a way that is unlikely and surprising”
Last Sunday, both Monic and I spoke in the Apeldoorn Stake Conference. I chose to speak on a question that is regularly posed to our missionaries, “During the past month, how have you seen the hand of the Lord in your work?”
In my talk, I shared a few quotes from a number of different missionaries in response to that question.
Regularly, in my daily journal writing I also record experiences that are simply beyond mere coincidence.
Quite frankly, in recent months I have seen this manifest…. constantly.
President Thomas S. Monson said, “When we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help.”

Signatures

In my personal library of good books, one of my favourites is “Divine Signatures.”
Author Gerald N. Lund learned that with the Lord, there are no coincidences, only sacred autographs.
“Sometimes the Lord sends his blessings in such a highly unusual way, dramatic or precisely timed manner, that it might be likened to a ‘divine signature,'” Lund writes. “It is as though the Lord ‘signs’ the blessing personally so that we will know with certainty that it comes from him. In doing so, God not only gives his blessing, but at the same time he strengthens our faith and deepens our testimony of him.”
I want to share my testimony of that (and I am choosing my words carefully) – 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐭.
I am now a witness to the fact that, day in, day out, week in, week out, I see tender mercies of the Lord Jesus Christ and His divine signature manifest in the details of our missionary service, it is His confirming hand.
The Lord’s signature is in the details.
Yesterday, I had a personal testimony of another one to add to the list of a multitude of others.
A faith filled conversation in the morning, a faith filled action in the afternoon, manifest a remarkable coincidence or in essence a divine signature of the Lord only a few hours later in the evening.
And the result?
Another sure witness that The Lord is in the details of each of our lives.
I hope that we can all recognise the hand of the Lord in our lives and in everything around us.
Exercise your faith in Him, stop, pause and reflect, then ask yourself “how have I seen the Lord’s hand in my life today?”