Gavin Jacobson uses Heinz tomato ketchup at every meal and on his bottle there’s a label which says ‘Gavin, phone mum’. Heinz replaced the normal label with one prompting him to ring his mother, Maxine, after she begged them to help. ‘Since starting university three months ago,’ said Mrs Jacobson, ‘he has only called home twice, so I persuaded Heinz to produce a one-off bottle that would regularly remind him.’ Now Gavin’s ketchup bottle is a permanent reminder of how his mum loves him and wants to keep in touch.
The kitchen cupboard may be where Gavin finds signs of his mother’s care but he, and the rest of us, can find reminders elsewhere that we are loved. All around us are signs of careful provision for our needs and our delight. It may be in the unexpected sight of something beautiful or a word from a friend just at the moment it was needed; it may be that circumstances work out favourably or something comes to mind at just the right moment. It may be that something that happens or a sudden instinct stops us going down a route which would have been the wrong way to go.
Sometimes such things can be put down to chance or coincidence. There may be nothing more to them than what appears on the surface. But when they are seen in the context of other things we know and believe about God, they feel more like God’s way of caring personally for our needs. Indeed sometimes it wasn’t that we ‘needed’ anything – it was God simply wanting to give us pleasure. Such experiences make us feel there is a power there that cares about us and wants to relate to us. They are signs God gives us that he loves us and that he wants us to keep in touch.
Read: When I look at the sky, which you have made, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what are human beings that you care about them? (Psalm 8:3-4)
Rejoice: in God’s meticulous care for me.
Reflect: What ‘coincidences’ have I experienced lately that might be God’s doing?
Remember: God cares for us like this because he wants to – when we recognise and acknowledge it, it’s a bonus.
Resolve: when it feels as though God has been active in my life, to say thank you.