|“Then he added, ‘Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given[a]—and you will receive even more'” -Mark 4:24 (NLT)|
|Have you ever had an experience of serendipity? It’s when we stumble on something delightful when we are not looking for it… a passing moment of unexpected meaning or importance.|
I had that experience a few days ago, while I was driving from Madoc to Toronto. I was listening to the book of Genesis on a great bible app called “Through the Word” and when I finished chapter 41 in the story of Joseph, which talks about Pharaoh’s dream predicting 7 years of abundance followed by 7 years of famine, I was led to reflect and pray. At that moment, it made me think about the times we are living in and how the world is facing a type of famine right now. I was asking God to give us sight, like Joseph, so that we might know how to prepare for what is coming. As I drove along, I passed a road sign which, for some reason, caught my eye and when I read it, it felt as if God was giving me an answer. It said:
“Traffic moving well to Port Hope”
I don’t know about you, but I have had similar experiences before, usually at times when I am speaking to God and my heart is wide open to hear His voice. Somehow, I get exactly what I need to hear in the most interesting ways.
As a person of faith, I don’t believe these encounters are coincidences or happy accidents. I think God can (and does) speak through something as simple as the words on a road sign, but only if the person reading the words chooses to perceive the words as a gift.
Amidst my concern that the months or years ahead might be difficult, God responded with a reminder that He is with me, that all is well and I must continue to rely on Him in Faith and Hope for the future.
But there’s one more cool part of this story…
As I got closer to Port Hope, the signs showed the number of the exit to take to get there: Exit # 424. Again, that felt significant to me and I started thinking what the numbers could mean. I thought about dates and times and then… of course! I realized it must be a scripture verse!
When I got home, I searched “4:24” on my phone and 4 verses came up:
Mathew 4:24; Mark 4:24; John 4:24 & Ephesians 4:24
I’m going to reflect on all of them over the next few days but as I was preparing to write this devotional, Mark 4:24 felt the most relevant because it speaks to the importance of listening for the word of God in order to gain wisdom and understanding.
Please join me in this prayer today:
God of serendipity and grace, open our eyes to the miracles all around us. Gently remind us to put down our phones and lift our gaze to notice the work you are doing in the world. You speak to us in a million different ways, if only we would listen. Help us to hear you whispering to us in unexpected ways throughout our day, encouraging us and reminding us of your presence. Help us to be that voice of encouragement to others who we encounter on our journey. Thank you for loving us and being with us. Amen.
How are you seeing God at work in the people, places, and things you encounter each day? What divine messages is He sending your way?