Biblical Serendipity: The right verse at the right time

An interesting feature of spiritual autobiography throughout Christian history is the number of times someone, while grappling with a dilemma or pouring their heart out to God, feels inspired to open the Bible and read the first verse their eyes come to. Maybe the earliest and most notable of these moments is the story of St. Augustine’s conversion to Christianity as related in Confessions.  Having explored and experimented with the various philosophies of his day, he increasingly felt drawn to Christianity, becoming convinced it was God’s truth, but still unable to fully commit himself to the faith.

One day as Augustine paced in his garden at Milan, torn by indecision and inner turmoil, he heard a child’s voice say, “Tolle, lege. Tolle lege” Pick up and read. Pick up and read. Going to “the book of the apostle [Paul],” Augustine writes, “I seized it, opened it and in silence read the first passage on which my eyes lit: ‘Not in riots and drunken parties, not in eroticism and indecencies, not in strife and rivalry, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in its lusts’ (Rom. 13: 13-14). Upon reading this passage, Augustine reports “All the shadow of doubts were dispelled” (153).

I think of this and other similar moments as a kind of divinely serendipitous reading. And it was with such moments in mind that I created Bibledice.com. With no advertising and zero promotion, the website is now used by thousands of Bible readers from around the world.

Obviously this serendipity doesn’t happen every time you open (or click) the Bible. Yet there are those times when you just know the passage you get is more than coincidence. Maybe it’s a feeling. Maybe the scripture is just too specific to your situation. I have had several such moments with Bibledice as well as the hard copy Bible. Many of these have been profound and personal, but I want to relate a lighthearted one here.

My wife and I had been arguing over ridiculous things—nothing serious; it was just one of those days.  I despairingly sat at the computer and thought I’d go to Bibledice and see if the Lord had any insight. I wondered if I would get some admonition like “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved his Church” (Eph. :25). I clicked the button and instead got this:

“It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” Proverbs 21:9

I blinked, and then read it again. Then I laughed. It was like God and I were sharing an inside joke. It broke the gloom and lightened the mood. My wife also got a good laugh out of it and I don’t doubt that if she clicked for a scripture she might have gotten some proverb about a foolish man.

Obviously it would be easy to get carried away with reading too much meaning into every “roll” of biblebice. But I do believe some are messages meant for us specifically during specific times in life. I have received touching emails from users who attest to this fact. As Proverbs 16:33 says, “We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall” (New Living Translation).

Which brings me to my last point. Regular or even casual users of Bibledice have their Bibledice stories, moments when the right verse came at the right time. I would like to share your experience in the comments section of this post. If you want me to post if for you, email your Bibledice story to bibledice.com@gmail.com

SJ Lawrence

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Biblical Serendipity: The right verse at the right time

  1. This lovely story comes from Bibledice user “Melissa.”
    1 Peter 1:7
    That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

    Me and my Fiance literally just got in our biggest fight yet. We have been fighting a lot lately mainly because of the topic of marriage. You see we are not the people we used to be when we first met. We met in a church, fell in love and decided to move in together before marriage because we got engaged 3 months into our relationship. We started putting each other first. I started forgetting about God. We started having sexual relations and so I started smoking and drinking staying out late with my co-workers. In turn he got lonely, he started drinking and we started fighting, a lot. I stopped caring about church, my family, friends; all I wanted was to be with him. Then I started feeling God calling me but I was too selfish to listen. I kept ignoring Him and ignoring Him even saying things to my fiance that I used to say to God, like “your the greatest love I ever had”. God kept calling. About 3 months ago, I started really hearing that call; in the pit of my stomach. I kept having flahses of visions in my mind of me and him buring in hell, buring with passion. It was haunting me and I decided I loved him too much to allow that. So I quit smoking I quit drinking and started trying to seek God. Never have we fought so much since. Our latest fights have been about marriage. Were both stubborn but im the stubborn one. I pushed the last button amd we got in a HUGE fight like never before. I cried and begged him to stay, he left. I sobbed on the floor. I sobbed in the shower. I sobbed in the closet. Until finally I cried out to Jesus. Apart of me wanted to go back to my addicitons but a stronger part of me said NNNOOOO. So I didnt, and so I clicked on bibledice. Its a bookmark I have on my homescreen. And the verse above is what God told me. Because I know He is still here with me, in this very minute, holding me and keeping me strong. And I want to make Him happy. I know its the right choice.
    Thank you biblde dice for existing. Believe me when I say this isnt the first time God has used you to speak directly to me.

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  2. Hi, This is Daniel Watson and I don’t mind being quoted.
    I am an organic farmer and businessman. I regularly hear from God through random verses in amazing ways. I will try to keep this story brief but it comes on the back of a destructive cyclone which caused financial impotence and then a serious accident to my person. I have been in the process of selling our property to a christian group for youth training purposes. I have been wondering if I have been coping out?? Take the cash n run.. Anyways things seemed to be stalling with this group and I’m like God what next.. So I wrote a proposal of necessary improvements to God including monetary values to take the property to the next level of purpose and not selling and not quitting.. So I found ‘bibledice’ after a quick search.. Well I had prayed about this for 2 days prior and I had a confidence it was time.My proposal was on paper prepared and written out. So up comes 2Cor*V13-15 You’ll have to read it to understand.. So I looked up the word ‘WANT’ in my strongs reference..#5303 (2) IN REFERENCE TO PROPERTY AND RESOURCES So I’m like whaaaaat!! So I naturally wanted to check out this site to see if it was a ‘prosperity gospel’ promoting site n I clicked next verse over and over again and all sorts of random verses just kept coming up. So now I have an even larger question for God.. You can pray for me.. May God turn His Logos into our Rhema. Blessings. ))

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  3. After a long struggle with cancer a fellow soldier and comrade in Christ went to be with the Lord yesterday. Romans 8:18 was spoken to me with the BD resource. Word!

    May the blessed man win!

    Romans 8:18
    18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

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