One of the ways we’ve learned to recognize the movement of God is through conspicuous “coincidence.” For example, it is no coincidence that we’ve been studying the book “With” by Skye Jethani, which explains that life is not about what God will do to us or for us, or even what we can do for Him. It’s about an intimate relationship with our Father. God has been coaxing intimacy out of me (Jeff) by all means.
I’m not generally super in-touch with my emotions. Ask me how I’m really doing and most of the time I’ll give you a blank stare until I can think of some circumstance or other that was pleasant or hard. Mostly, my happiness is based on how good of a job I think I’m doing (as a husband, father, missionary, lawn owner, etc). God is showing me again and again, though, how out of my control all of that is. Jethani says that “faith is the opposite of seeking control. It is surrendering control. It embraces the truth that control is an illusion—we never had it and we never will.”
Scripture says that God controls our success or failure, and a friend pointed out that sometimes God won’t let us see success (even as He accomplishes His good will) because it would not be good for us. I learn not to put my hope in circumstances, and as the world fades from my attention, God softens my numb heart and draws me to a special place with Him like a candle in the dark.