Just a Coincidence?

Today’s Thankful Thursday is dedicated to a very special friend, Johnny Harkins. To some, the way we met could be considered coincidental but Johnny and I both know it was a God-incidence.

Travel with me back in time to April 2007. Rick and I were shopping for a camper at a dealer in Phoenix. When we went back to close the deal and pick up our new camper, we were also scheduled for a walk-thru to familiarize us with all the systems in the camper. Upon our arrival, we were told that the person originally scheduled to take us on our walk-thru was not able to be there that morning. Instead they assigned another of their employees to do the honors.

Enter Johnny.

Rick and I spent the next hour or so being educated on the systems and idiosyncrasies of our new camper. Johnny was very knowledgeable and gracious in explaining everything to us and easily answered all of our questions. As I listened to him speak, I was struck by his quiet yet friendly manner.

For some reason, I felt the need to ask Johnny if he was a Christian. [Johnny, we both know Who gave me that urge, huh?] When he replied, “Yes,” I shared with him that I was a devotional writer. You cannot imagine the surprise on both of our faces as he told me he had an online devotional ministry and was looking for writers. Was I interested? Ummm… YES!!!

That was the beginning of a wonderful, God-ordained friendship: our God-incidence. If the other technician had been there to give us our tour, Rick and I would never have met Johnny, and I wouldn’t be sitting here right now sharing this all with you.

GEM Ministries

Through Johnny’s ministry—GEM Ministries—I have had the opportunity to virtually meet his other writers and have formed a close bond with some of them. Even though Johnny and I only live a couple of hours apart, I never had the opportunity to spend more time with him until two years ago. I was in Phoenix visiting my children and Johnny invited me to go to church with him. Here’s a photo of that visit:

Johnny, I am truly blessed to have you in my life and am so thankful for you and your special ministry. I love the way God works in our lives in such obvious and special ways!

This is how I see my friendship with Johnny:

You are my friends if you do what I command.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

—John 15:14-16

Again, thank you, Johnny, for the gift of your friendship. May God continue to bless you and Sylvia (and your family) and your work. And may He continue to use you in so many lives to advance His kingdom here on earth!

10 thoughts on “Just a Coincidence?

  1. Thanks so much Anna, for reminding me of that story, whenever i think of how we met i stand in aw of the marvelous and wonderful power of our lord and God, and how he interacts in all of our lives.
    Thank you lord for giving me such a great and wonderful friend like anna, We love you anna!!!!!!


    • Aw, thanks Johnny, I love you guys too! The story of our meeting means a lot to me. God used our meeting to nudge me back to writing more after a long time away from it as I sought to seek His will for my writing. You really have to give it to God: He always knows what is best for us and orchestrates things to accomplish His purposes in our lives! So all the glory goes to God for our friendship!


  2. Although I am often amazed at the ‘timing’ and ‘circumstances’ of things in my life, I know I shouldn’t be.

    My loving Father knows the end from the beginning and controls all. His love for me (and all His adopted, blood-bought children) is unquestionable. He desires only the very best for me. He has a chosen path for me. So shouldn’t I EXPECT Him to organise time and circumstances? – but I enjoy His surprises.

    We serve an amazing God!


    • The God-incidences in my life and the lives of those around me both astound me and make me laugh out loud at times. The God we serve enjoys lavishing us with surprises and special situations!


  3. God sure knows how to put people in our paths, even in seemingly ordinary ways, I just love God, thinking how He blesses us with people in our lives. I am happy you shared this story with us Anna, it is a big reminder of some God-incidences in my own life.
    Many blessings!


  4. I love this, Anna, and I love it even more that Johnny is a believer and that you got to worship together!

    I’m amazed and stand in constant delight at the people God has brought across my path — many of them in Phoenix!! Who could have predicted that my first trip to Israel would have introduced me to so many wonderful Christian friends, and that He would have knitted our hearts together in such a magnificent and glorious fashion??

    Hugs from VA!!


    • Hi Susan! I just happened to be responding to another comment when yours showed up. Funny, huh?

      I love hearing how God used your first trip to Israel to knit together hearts like yours that seek to worship and adore Him and seek to spread His message of love, faith and truth.

      There are not enough words in the English language to describe the awesomeness of our God! HE IS INDEED GOOD!!!

      Hugs backatcha from AZ!


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