- Debra McInvale
God Winks and Holy Hugs
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Romans 8:28 NLT
Have you ever taken time to excavate your past for evidence of God’s blessings? My Dad, Walter, did. And what he discovered has been a remarkable lesson in faith for me.
The premise: God is at work all around us and in us and for our benefit in every season. The good that happens in life is never coincidence. Its God! Walter called these happenings his “God winks” *. I like to call them Holy Hugs.
Toward the end of his life, Walter decided he wanted to record his memories. So, he purchased a small recorder and, faithfully, at 5:30 every evening, sat down at the kitchen table, peanut butter and crackers in hand, and talked. And talked. I probably have a good hundred hours’ worth of transcribing to do, on top of the few hundred pages already typed! I love hearing his voice, as alive today as it was then. The true value, however, is the overarching highlight of his memories: evidence of God working in his life.
My favorite happening he told is about Mom, Joanne. They met at church during their high school days. They were sweethearts, or so Walter thought, by 15 or 16 (1943-44?). They were certainly close friends who spent a lot of time together: movies, church events, swinging on the front porch. He always said that he was the only boyfriend Joanne’s dad did not meet at the door with a shotgun.
One day, after the two of them had spent most of every recent evening together, Walter called Joanne and asked what she wanted to do that night. It only seemed reasonable to him that they would be together; they usually were. The problem was - Joanne had a date. A date!? Walter was horrified, his manly pride crushed, and he swore he would never speak to that woman again. (In Joanne’s defense: she claimed it was a sympathetic date. Her Sunday School teacher had begged her to go out with a nephew who was on leave from the Army – WWII.)
Walter fully intended never to see her again; but, about three weeks later, they ended up on the same trackless trolley in downtown Atlanta. He hopped on, walked through the isle and found only one seat left open. One seat on that great big bus! And the one seat was right beside Joanne. Well, he said he figured he could either stand up and be a jerk or he could sit down and be halfway sociable. He chose the latter. He sat down and the rest is history: 64 years of marriage.
Walter was convinced that this was a divinely orchestrated God wink that blessed him the remainder of his life.
Do you think that God does weave His hand in and out of our lives to cause blessings, to send us in the direction He wants us to go, to meet the people we need to meet? Dad did. He was certain that God had a plan for his life and God was directing him around every twist and turn to make sure he followed. What might have appeared as coincidences at the time was, looking back, without a doubt the hand and winks of God.
The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.
Psalm 37:23-24 NLT
Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
How about we look back through our own lives this week and do a little digging. When we think back, can we see times when God was at work for us, in us? We might not have realized it then, but can we see it now? If you do, please share what you discover. We all are enriched by evidence of God Winks and Holy Hugs and the Lord is glorified when we share His stories.
Hugs and Blessings,
Lord, we are amazed by the fact that You choose to act and speak into our lives today. Help us to understand that what we see as coincidence is, in fact, Your handiwork. May we never take credit but always give You the glory and praise. Amen.
*See the God Wink Series of books by author Squire Rushnell. He defines God winks as God’s personal messages to us.