I love the story Dennis Bennett tells in his book Nine O’Clock in the Morning. As he was beginning to come to grips with this whole “being filled with the Spirit” thing, he goes on a picnic with his wife. Here’s the rest of the story (pp 127-128):
“Well, we didn’t pick a very good day for a picnic, dear,” I said to Elberta. “Looks like it’s going to be pouring after a while. What’ll we do?”
There it was again! Pray about the weather? Wasn’t that carrying things a bit too far? Still, Jesus prayed about the weather, and He got results! He said, “The works that I do shall you do also, and greater things than these shall you do…”
“Okay.” So we prayed; but the clouds did not roll away, and the sun did not blaze forth!
“What do we do now?” I asked my wife.
“Let’s start out,” she replied, so we put the picnic basket into the car and headed for the mountains. Personally, I was feeling very silly. If the weather was bad in Seattle, one thing was sure; it was worse up in the hills. As we rolled along, we talked about it.
“We prayed for good weather – I think we’re supposed to keep on driving until we got to the good weather,” said my wife. And that’s just what we did. We had clouds all the way up into the mountains until we approached the area where we had wanted to picnic; and behold, the sun began to break through!
“Keep driving!” said my woman of faith, and in a few miles we emerged into full sunshine, right at a beautiful little picnic spot where we had a lovely warm day by the river. When we had eaten and basked in the sunshine for a while, we packed our things and headed back for town. We hadn’t driven 20 minutes before we were in rain! Coincidence? Well, as a certain bishop of our acquaintance puts it, “All I know is that when I stop praying, the coincidences stop happening!”
I love this story. It reminds me that God cares for all the little things in our lives. Even the little things which seem like coincidences are a result of our prayer (or someone else’s prayer).
And it reminds me that it’s good to be married to a woman of faith!