Friday, November 10, 2023


The things that I call the evidences of God's love for me, the world has a name for, too: they call them "coincidences." Sometimes, they call them "accidents." (If they watch Bob Ross, they call them "happy accidents.") Sometimes, they call them "luck." The more destined among them might call them "fate." 

And...that's a lot of words. 

It's a lot of words that don't do anything to help you understand your place in the world, to help you feel secure about anything at all, to help you trust in anything. To have any real hope at all. 

If these things are coincidence, then they are essentially random. They just...happen. Which means they could happen or not happen at any given time. That's not helpful if you're trying to plan a life, trying to consider your options. "Gosh, I really want a nice coincidence to come along. I think I'll plan on that." You can't plan on that. It just...happens. 

If these things are accidents, then they were never meant to happen. They are random, just like coincidences, but they weren't intended. They occurred because someone or something somewhere got messed up and you just happened to have benefited from that. You can't count on an accident because you can't count on the world messing up in your favor. (And if you've lived long enough, you know that usually, when the world messes up, it's not in your favor.) 

But you can't even feel good about an accident because it literally means that no one and nothing intended any good or benefit for you at all. No one was thinking about you and no one was wanting to make your life better or easier. A mistake was made, and you happened to be there to catch it. That's all. 

If these things are luck, then it seems that it has more to do with where you are than anything. You put yourself in a position to benefit and the timing lined up just right. But how can you ever reliably replicate this? You can spend your entire life trying to put yourself in all of the right places and never get "lucky" again. Never. That's really defeating, isn't it? "I was always in the right place, but never in the right time." You can spend your life playing a slot, walk away for three seconds, and watch someone else hit the jackpot. There's nothing encouraging about that. 

If these things are fate, then there's some rhyme or reason to the universe that you don't quite understand, and usually, that means you end up judging whether you are a good person or a bad person based on how favorable the universe seems toward you. There's an inkling that, perhaps, someone or something is in control of all things, though you might not name it. But there can be no fate without a determiner. So you just assume that whatever determiner is out there approves of you (or disapproves of you) in some way, which is nice. But it's not really inspiring. 

By the way, a lot of Christians live this way. A lot of Christians equate God with "fate" - a detached, dispassionate God orchestrated things a certain way because He is either pleased with you or displeased with you. He determined what happens to you maybe before you even were born, so it doesn't depend on your goodness at all; it's just the life He picked for you. We have a lot of bad theology around this idea that comes in a lot of different forms, but it all comes down to the same basic idea - which doesn't look very different from the world's idea of fate. 

But if it is love...

If it is love, there is a Lover. If it is love, there is a beloved. (That's you.) If it is love, it is personal; it centers itself on your inherent worth and not on anything you've done or might do. If it is love, it's not random. If it is love, it's not about being in the right place at the right time or benefitting from some error somewhere. If it is love, it is intentional. If it is love, you can not only plan on it - you can count on it. 

Because God never stops loving you. 

Love is better than all of these things. It's better than coincidence. It's better than an accident, even a happy accident. It's better than luck. It's better than fate. Some say it's foolishness, to think that if there even is a God, He could love you at all. That He would love you at all. 

But I look around my life sometimes - okay, most of the time - and there's nothing that explains it better than the understanding that He does. He does love me. I am loved. 

That's the only thing that makes any sense at all. 

So...I am trusting God to love me. 

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