November 2019

ElPasoFishNet

By Randy Limbird

­­When it comes to coincidences, how much of a coincidence does it have to be to wonder if it’s more than a coincidence?
I tend to be very conservative about making claims that anything rises to the level of a miraculous sign. Yet something happened to me the other day that definitely made me wonder.
I begin each morning with reading the Bible. Recently I’ve been reading one Psalm and one chapter from Deuteronomy. On this particular morning my selections were Psalm 67 and Deuteronomy 10. I often copy a verse or two that catch my attention; on this morning I jotted down Psalm 67:1-2 and Deut. 10:12-13.
I had been thinking about committing more Bible verses to memory, and the Deuteronomy verses in particular struck me as good ones to memorize. A couple of days earlier a friend at church had mentioned that he used a Bible memorization app. After writing down the Deuteronomy passage, I decided to check it out, but I couldn’t remember the name of the app. So I googled “bible memory apps” to see if I could find one that appealed to me.
In doing so, I stumbled across a website, theversesproject.com, which wasn’t an app but offered worship music and visual art to aid scripture memorization. On the home page, the featured verses were Psalm 67:1-3. That hit me as one heck of a coincidence. What were the odds that these verses displayed so prominently on the website would be the ones I had just written down in my journal?
Then the cynic in me said it would have been even more impressive if the featured verses were Deut. 10:12-13, because that’s what started me on this web-surfing quest. Then I noticed that on the right side of the website’s home page were four “other recent verses.” The last one listed was Deut. 10:12-13.
Needless to say, I was taken aback. I thought matching the passage from Psalms was an incredible coincidence by itself, now I was looking at another equally unlikely coincidence that occurred in tandem with the first. I had written down two passages from the Bible, and both were highlighted on this website’s home page
There are over 30,000 verses in the Bible. From a mathematical standpoint, the odds of something like this happening would have to be astronomical. Even if you take into account that only a select portion of biblical verses are likely to be considered as memory verses, the chances might still be well over one in a million.
But does the math really matter? What do you do when you’re face to face with something that seems so out of the ordinary? In a world with billions of people, strange things are bound to happen. But when you’re the individual on the receiving end of such an unlikely event, do you just chalk it up to coincidence? Or do you wonder if it might be a sign of something significant?
When I’ve shared this story, many friends have asked me what God might be telling me. Frankly, I don’t know if God was communicating a concrete message. Maybe the meaning of all this may be revealed over time, but meanwhile, I think the most important lesson is being reminded of God’s presence. Sometimes all we need is for God to whisper that He is here and that He cares.

Randy Limbird is editor of
El Paso Scene. Comments?
Send to randy@epscene.com

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