Patty went to see the movie Top Gun: Maverick on Sunday, July 24. Mark and I went to see it on his birthday, Wednesday, July 27. When I told her we had seen it, she texted me: “I’m glad you liked the movie! Could you weave Tom Cruise into a devotional???” I laughed. And then I read my devotional the next day—July 28. In it I mention the movie Jerry Maguire, a Tom Cruise movie. I actually quoted Tom Cruise in the devotional!! 😮
What are the chances of that happening? And how did that happen? My answer? It was God. I know some of you will disagree. But for me, there is no other explanation. Look at the odds. First of all, the last time Mark and I went to a movie was . . . I can’t even remember when. We rarely go to the movies. I think it has been a few years. (I know. 🙄 We are boring.) Secondly, Patty went on a whim, last minute decision, not planned. Thirdly, I did not remember writing the devotional about Jerry Maguire until I read it on July 28. So, the odds? What are the odds on Patty sending me the text on July 27 and the Tom Cruise devotion being on July 28? I guess you could say they were 365 to 1. Okay. So, it’s possible it was just coincidence and not God.
But if I believe this: “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (1)—if I believe that (and I do), then God made the Tom Cruise thing happen. How? That’s the tricky part. I wrote the devotional a couple of years ago, I believed inspired by God. Patty, my good friend and publicist, is always encouraging me in my work; it is a relationship inspired by God. So, what I’m saying is God inspired Patty to go to the movie, which led Mark and me to the movie, which led her to make the comment about Tom Cruise. Now that in and of itself is pretty amazing but the most amazing thing is God’s timing. When Patty made the comment—the day before I mention Tom Cruise in the devotional. That’s the amazing thing. God’s timing.
So, what I’m saying is that God planned that little insignificant “coincidental” thing years ago. 😕 Yeah, I knew I would lose some of you with my explanation. That’s okay. And I agree—it was insignificant—nothing life-saving or monumental about any of it. But that’s what convinces me the most that it was God. It was his way of saying to me, “I know everything about you and I thought this would make you smile. And by the way, I am deeply involved in the work you are doing with Patty and the devotional.” That’s what I believe.
The whole thing was absolutely unnecessary and so very very special. And that’s the kind of God I serve. He speaks to us in whispers most of the time and much of the time he is reminding us that he is with us all the time.
That was not the first time God has given me a sign that he is involved in my everyday life. And I am sure it will not be the last time. I agree with David who concluded about God’s intimate knowledge of his life: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” (2)
I believe God sends us signs often. But we dismiss them as coincidental or fate or karma or simply a serendipitous moment or maybe even nothing at all. So, all I’m saying is the next time you hear yourself say, “What are the chances of that happening?” Consider God. 🙂
(1) Psalm 139:1-4 (2) Psalm 139:6