Saturday, April 23, 2016

"Doubting nothing"

Peter in the house of Cornelius - by Gustave Dore
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Acts 11:1-18

TO CHEW ON: “‘Then the Spirit told me to go with them doubting nothing.’” Acts 11:12

“In my lifetime I have had certain, if few, remarkable instances of the presence of God,” writes David Adams Richards in his book God Is: My Search for Faith in a Secular World. “From my very earliest days, I recognized this presence now and again…These instances most often came in ways I least expected from the time I was a child.” (God Is. David Adams Richards, Location 732 – Kindle Version)

Richards goes on to relate incident after incident where happenings from his life spoke to him of divine providence, with events dovetailing in amazing ways.
  • As a youth he was in a high speed car crash but escaped without a scratch while a school buddy was killed in a freakish traffic mishap going a mere 30 miles per hour. 
  • He came across a gift he had meant to give his dying mother 20 years to the day after her death. 
  • A stray paper poking from between books on his shelf turned out to be a photograph. It was a picture of a little girl and her mother – the girl he and his wife helped look after when her immigrant mother discovered she had brain cancer. In the picture, the mother, whose cancer had just been discovered, was still beautiful. He found it years after the mother’s death, but only an hour before the girl, her father and grandmother were to arrive to visit (they had moved back to Europe).

In our reading today Peter, when called to task by the Jerusalem apostles over eating with an uncircumcised Gentile (Cornelius) had exactly such a miraculous “coincidence” to relate. His vivid vision, followed by Cornelius’s servants at the door, and the readiness of Cornelius and his family to hear what Peter had to say convinced the apostles that this new development was actually a God-thing: “When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God saying ‘then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life’ Acts 1:18.

Have you had such evidences of God in your life? I have. For example, I often find that things I read or hear relate directly to something I am writing. I will find a quote that catches my eye in a book or internet article and the next day that very idea presents itself in the Bible reading for this devotional or some other piece I’m writing.

Let’s watch for the many ways God tells us, “I am here – right beside you, going with you through this day.” Let’s gratefully accept the signs of His presence “doubting nothing.”

PRAYER: Dear God, Thank you for these little assurances of Your presence. Help me to be alert to them, and acknowledge You in them today. Amen.

MORE: Looking for God
David Adams Richards is an award-winning Canadian writer. He is most known for his fiction. His writing, which has been compared to that of William Faulkner, has won many awards (Governor General’s, Giller Prize).

Links to articles about God Is.

"Canada's literary community gets religion all wrong" by David Adams Richards - excerpts from God Is.

"Author finds God is in the details" by Stuart Laidlaw

God Is by David Adams Richards (available from


Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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