Serendipity means a “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”. It was coined by Horace Walpole in 1754. In a letter he wrote to a friend Walpole explained an unexpected discovery he had made by reference to a Persian fairy tale, The Three Princes of Serendip. The princes, he told his correspondent, were “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of”.
The notion of serendipity is a common occurrence throughout the history of scientific innovation such as Alexander Fleming‘s accidental discovery of penicillin in 1928 and the invention of the microwave oven by Percy Spencer in 1945.
The word has been voted one of the ten English words hardest to translate in June 2004 by a British translation company. However, due to its sociological use, the word has been exported into many other languages.
So if you have read any of my blogs, most of them will at some stage mention that I am new to this walk with “The Lord” First of July 2014. I’ve been doing bible studies and lots of reading of many things and especially the bible each day. So this morning as I sat down to do my bible studies (I am doing them with Courtney from”Good Morning Girls”) we are doing Genesis 43, we use the S.O.A.P method
What is S.O.A.P.?
S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. It is a way of getting more out of your time in God’s word. We did not invent it, we just decided to make a website to make it easier to do.
How does it work?
It’s quite simple. When you sit for your daily quiet time read the bible as you normally would with one simple difference. Underline or make note of any verses that jump out at you with special significance. This is the basis for diving deeper and using S.O.A.P.
Now comes the cool part. Login and create a new SOAP entry. There are four fields to fill in and I bet you can guess what they are:
Scripture-Type in the verse or verses that stuck out to you in your reading. You can show the verses and even have them read to you with the click of a button. No copying and pasting blocks of text.
Observation-What did you observe about the scripture that struck you. This can be one sentence or a whole book.
Application-How can you apply the observation so that it affects your life today.
Prayer-Write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth in your life.
So Today as I got up to “P” for “Prayer” at 7.30 am this is what I wrote in my Study notes:
“Dear Lord, is there a message about “reunion” between family members that you want me to be aware of? I have asked you for forgiveness from my siblings towards me and from me towards my siblings. Do I need to do more? Please guide me in your wisdom, In your name I ask- Amen ”
I wrote that and went about my day. Less than 12 hours later I feel I have been given a clue.. maybe not the full answer but a clue. As we walked into the nursing home to visit my M-I-L for her birthday, two women were coming out of a side entrance and as they walked towards us I recognized one as the sibling that hates me the most in the world. Much like Joseph and his hateful brothers. Another Light bulb moment.. was this serendipity or a message from God?
So there are several layers to this story.. Usually when I pray I ask for the usual things, make such and such well, help so and so to recover from whatever pain, watch over my husband and my family and I always end with take great care of my grand babies. I never ever ask for anything for me, I always thank the Lord for the things he has given me. Until this morning when I said: “Do I need to do more? Please guide me in your wisdom” I have always been big believer in Serendipity before I walked with the Lord. I thought that the things that happened to me were “serendipity” but now looking back and thinking about how things happened and the timing of things that have happened I realize and even said out loud back in 2001 “Someone is watching over me” I felt kind of like I was a puppet and “someone” else was taking charge of my life and leading my way.. STILL I did not think it was the Lord.. now that I have been doing my studies and speaking to Pastor Frank I understand that The Lord has been with me for a lot longer than I imagined. Like in 2000 when I went to America by myself all alone and I never went ANYWHERE alone and somewhere this great strength came and I did it..I remember thinking at the time “My Dad” was my guiding angel.. now I know better.
So was tonight’s meeting Serendipity or God taking charge and giving me an answer.. and how proud do I feel right now that I asked and I received.
Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”