Unexpected gifts from God

Published 9:09 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2017

By Tonya S. Swindell

Regular days become extraordinary when I receive unexpected gifts. And the older I get, special occasions like birthdays have greater significance. So I’m thankful for unique days and creative ways in which God displays care and concern for my happiness and well being.

This year I received a very memorable birthday present. While searching for a household item in a local department store, I walked past a rack filled with colorful paintings featuring African-American couples.

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One couple looked strangely familiar. So I stopped and stared, then picked up the painting to examine it more closely. I texted my brother to show him what I found.

The couple looked exactly like my deceased father lovingly locking arms with a woman resembling my mother. They were standing, looking at ocean waves. Scenery from the picture resembled an actual beach located near my parents’ home.

Exactly three copies of the painting were available for me to purchase. God provided the perfect number for me, my brother and mother. And when I showed the painting to my family, they immediately smiled and acknowledged the resemblance.

Timing of the gift was significant too, because I received it three days before my birthday and four days after my deceased father’s birthday.

A friend told me about a memorable gift she received while on her way to work. As she waited for a traffic light to turn green, a tractor-trailer appeared within view. My friend’s eyes shifted to one side of the truck that featured huge letters spelling: “Happy Birthday!” A colorful array of balloons and festive decorations surrounded the surprising message.

My friend received it as a personal greeting since it was her birthday and she really needed the encouragement.

Author SQuire Rushnell and his wife, Louise DuArt, spoke about “The wink of God” on a “700 Club” episode. According to CBN’s website, “SQuire defines a ‘God wink’ as a personal communication from God to an individual, which is usually a circumstance or event that seems like a coincidence that is too personal to be so. They are messages of reassurance and encouragement from God throughout one’s life to reassure an individual that he or she is on the right track.”

The “Mysterious Ways” section of Guidepost magazine also features testimonials or “God winks.”

Jesus’ words captured in John 10:10 from the New Living Translation, suggest God delights in giving me “a rich and satisfying life.” I also like to consider Ephesians 3:20, which tells me God is able to do much more than I could ask, think, dream or imagine according to His power at work in me.

Google defines “coincidence” as “a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.”

I don’t believe in coincidence. However, I believe God, the Father of Jesus Christ, initiates divine appointments to increase my awareness of His presence and demonstrate the depth of His love.

I’m grateful for “winks from God” that make ordinary days seem even more incredible.

Tonya Swindell writes a blog for www.inspirenewlife.org and a teacher for Kingdom Building Equipping School (KBES.com). She can be reached at 1brightot@gmail.com.