For with God nothing will be impossible. Luke 1:37, NKJV.

Our church group is privileged to visit a local nursing home where, on one Sabbath each month, we have an afternoon praise service with the residents there. Many of those who call this home are members of one of our area churches. This past Mother’s Day weekend our group decided we would take colorful carnations to give each resident at the end of our program. It was fun to see them smile, accept the flowers, and admire them. No one in our group wanted the one remaining purple-fringed, white-petal carnation. I picked it up along with my songbook. On the way out, I stopped to chat with a gentleman, a former pastor, in his wheelchair. I sat down to listen to his family story and placed my book and the flower on a nearby table as I listened.

When I got up to leave, I saw a beautiful large yellow carnation by my book instead of the much smaller white and purple one. I looked around to see who exchanged flowers. No one was nearby. As I walked through the lobby, I offered this beautiful yellow carnation to a couple of different ladies, but each declined showing me they already had their carnations.

As I stepped outside into the sunshine, I noticed a couple sitting off to the side. I walked over and greeted them. He was bent and sitting in a wheelchair while she held his hand. She said, “I just love flowers but when my husband moved in here, we had to sell our house. I no longer have a garden. When I visit my husband here, I can enjoy all the beautiful hanging baskets.” I held out my beautiful yellow carnation and said I’d like for her to have in honor of Mother’s Day. “Yellow carnations have always been my favorite,” she said, her eyes growing misty.

Some of friends suggested this was a “lucky coincidence.” However, I am convinced that our loving heavenly Father, with whom nothing is impossible, worked one of His many wonders that day. I have no other explanation as to how a scrawny white-and-purple carnation “coincidentally” became a beautiful large yellow carnation—other than the explanation that “coincidence is nothing other than God working anonymously.” In Isaiah 65: 24 God promises that “before they call, I will answer; while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”

I am sure that while I was talking with the retired pastor that day, our God transformed that little flower into something more beautiful so a burdened elderly woman could have her “favorite.”

Beverly D. Hazzard

First published in Notes of Joy (Nampa, ID: Pacific Press), 2018.
Carolyn R. Sutton, editor