Coincidence or Divine Providence?
Shortly after WW2 a young man named Cliff, and his fiancée Billie (a woman), were anxious to get married. They had very little money. They managed to scrape together enough funds for a simple wedding and two train tickets to a city where he had been asked to help a friend with a revival campaign. By combining this responsibility with their honeymoon, they thought they could make it. They planned to stay at a nearby hotel.
The couple got off the train and took a bus to the hotel, only to learn that it had been taken over by the military for use as a rehabilitation center. It was no longer open for guests. There they were, stranded in an unfamiliar city with only limited funds. There was little to do but attempt to hitch a ride on the nearby highway. Soon a car pulled over, and the driver asked where they wanted to go.
“We don’t know,” they said and explained their predicament. The man was sympathetic and said perhaps he could offer a suggestion. A few miles down the road was a grocery store that was owned by a woman he knew. She had a couple of empty rooms upstairs and might be willing to let them stay there inexpensively. They were in no position to be choosy.
The lady rented them a room for five dollars, and they moved in. During their first day in residence, the new bride spent the afternoon practicing the piano, and Cliff played the trombone he had brought with him. The proprietor of the store sat in a rocking chair, listening to the music. When she realized they were Christians, she referred them to a friend, who invited them to spend the rest of their honeymoon in his home. Several days later (after their own revival meetings were over) the host mentioned that a young evangelist was speaking at a youth rally in a nearby Christian conference center. They were invited to attend.
That night it so happened that the regular songleader was sick, and Cliff was asked to take charge of the music for the service. What a historic occasion it was! The evangelist turned out to be a very young Rev. Billy Graham. The groom was Cliff Barrows. They met that evening for the first time, and a lifetime partnership was formed. They became part of the Billy Graham team for decades, along with Bev Shea, until they were no longer able to do that kind of work. Just think of all the incidents that fell into place for this team to form and then last for 60 years. These events were no coincidence.
Praise the Lord!