For me this had always been a spacious place, a thin place, a place where “he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” (Psalm 23:2-3 NIV)
So I felt robbed of more than a walk at that time.
I felt cheated out of space that “let me catch my breath” (v3 MSG), and time for Him to “restore my soul” (v3 NKJV) and “renew my strength” (v3 NLT).
But He DOES restore and renew. And as ever He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)
I’m loving being able to walk regularly in the forest again. I not only get to enjoy the space and beauty of the surroundings but He’s also given me the opportunity to chat and pray with people I just happen meet en route.
And I’m not the only one!! Last week I was at another forest with my ‘dog walking’ small group (yes that’s right) and one of the ladies just happened to bump into two people she knew and was obedient to opportunities to pray with them both.
This morning as I walked along, I was thinking of sharing this to encourage you that you don’t just bump into people by chance!! These things don’t just happen by coincidence.
So when I turned the corner and saw a lady standing with her dog looking out across the river I knew it wasn’t by chance.
It was a coHIMcidence!!
Tess’s ‘friendly exuberance’ makes it easy to get chatting to people and I found out it was the lady’s first visit to this forest as she had just moved to N Ireland the week before and a delivery man just happened to tell her about this great place to go running!! We chatted some more and then some more and she just happened to tell me about a fall from a few years ago and the ongoing struggles that had caused. She said “I feel like I’m telling you my life story!”
It just so happens I know Someone who is passionately interested in her life story so I asked if she would mind if I prayed with her that these problems would be put right. “Not at all.” I prayed a simple prayer for healing and thanked Jesus for showing her how much he cared about her and for her that we just happened to meet.
She cried as she said “nobody has ever done anything like that for me”. Again I said that the Father wanted to let her know how much He loved her. “Maybe that’s why I’ve come to Ireland”.
I had planned to walk a certain route in the forest this morning but halfway round I went a different route and I just happened to meet a lady whose change in route had brought her to a new place, in a new town, in a new country so Jesus could show her He is walking beside her.
Sometimes life takes us on a different route than we expect or had planned but the people and places we bump into along the way are not by chance. They are coHIMcidences for a specific purpose. His purpose. To bring His story of life into the life story of others.
So if your plans change this week and you end up going a different route, you never know what may ‘just happen‘ when you’re open to His opportunities.
I’d love to hear about your ‘coHIMcidences’.