Facts Are Facts
I am by profession an electrical engineer. I was trained to rely on scientific data. I learned that facts were facts, theories were theories and all else was either unknown or hocus-pocus. There was not much room for the unexplained or the miraculous—only analytical data would do. When presented with a new concept, I knew how to measure and analyze it in order to come to a scientifically acceptable conclusion. For example, I knew that in order to obtain the wattage used, it was necessary to measure the flow of current through a light bulb and to multiply it by the voltage across that bulb. Everything had its scientifically measured formula. Perhaps that is why when I was first confronted with the concept of the Messiah, I felt the need to know factually what was true.
After some careful examination of the Scriptures, I became convinced that the prophecies regarding the Messiah were fulfilled in Yeshua (Jesus). Several months after I had reached this conclusion, I received a pamphlet from a group called Jews for Jesus.” It was given to me by a friend who had just received it in the mail. Being a Jew, I was fascinated to think that there might be other Jews who also believed that Jesus fulfilled the Messianic role. I was curious to learn more of this group so I wrote to the address on the pamphlet, introducing myself and asking for more information.
One day a cassette tape from Jews for Jesus arrived in my mail box. I lovee to receive mail—especially cassette recordings, so I hurriedly put the tape on my cassette recorder. To my amazement the tape was blank! Obviously, this tape had been sent to me by mistake. I promptly put it in an envelope and mailed it back to Jews for Jesus. Imagine my surprise when the same tape came back to me in the mail a mere two weeks later. Being the scientific type, with a researching mind, I skipped my next class and again excitedly placed the cassette in my recorder. Again the tape was blank! And again I returned it to Jews for Jesus in California, only this time I decided to record something on the tape. The tape found its way back to me some weeks later and I very nearly threw it out. But just to satisfy my own native curiosity, I placed it for one final time in my tape player. What a surprise—there was actually something recorded on it! This is how I began a regular correspondence with Moishe Rosen, the director of Jews for Jesus.
West Virginia Institute of Technology, the school I was attending, is located a long way from the Jewish population centers like New York, where I was born. In 1972 it was rare to meet many Jewish people in West Virginia, much less Jews who believe in Jesus as the promised Messiah. So my cassette tape exchange with Jews for Jesus became every important link for me. Regularly, I would either receive or send cassettes to Jews for Jesus. Yet there is one particular cassette exchange that I will not quickly forget.
I had just completed a tape to Moishe Rosen in which I had mentioned that at some future date, if possible, I would like to come out to San Francisco and visit the Jews for Jesus office.…
Although I had not made this to be common knowledge, I had given some serious thought to meeting other Jews who believed as I did. When I returned home from mailing this most recent cassette, I was pleasantly surprised to find a cassette tape from Moishe Rosen in my mail box. In his tape, he suggested that I pray about the possibility of visiting the group in San Francisco. The two tapes had crossed in the mail!
Of course this can easily be attributed to pure coincidence. It is not too unusual for two people to think along the same lines, even if they are on opposite sides of the country. Yet there was something uncanny about the timing of this whole matter which suggested something more than pure coincidence. For one who was trained to deal with the known and measurable, this seemed to be more than a simple coincidence. Yet, even given the fact that Moishe Rosen and I had the same thought at the same time, there was still a very real barrier to any trip to San Francisco—the airfare. Five hundred dollars, the cost of a round-trip ticket to San Francisco, did not come easily to a college student struggling to work his way through four years of school. I simply did not have the money to make the trip.
Like most state-supported institutions, West Virginia Tech had two levels of student tuition. Those who were West Virginia residents paid lower tuition costs than those from outside the state. Being from New York, I was classified at the higher tuition rate. Just a few days after the coincidence of my cassette exchange with Jews for Jesus, I was called into the registrar’s office at school. In an almost unheard-of ruling, the college made the determination that my job as radio announcer in the town qualified me for West Virginia residency! The college automatically reduced my tuition to the in-state residence fee. The tuition savings of $500 was exactly the amount for my round-trip ticket to San Francisco! In December of 1972, I boarded a plane bound for San Francisco and my first meeting with other Jews who believed in Jesus. Now, all of this can be ascribed to coincidence. Yet the truly scientific mind is aware that when coincidences begin to fall upon coincidences, they are less likely to be coincidental! In the following years, I was to experience several instances of similar “coincidences.” But I have learned that there are no coincidences with God. All that He has for us is well planned. The events that He designed led me first into a relationship with my Messiah Jesus, and later into service as a staff member with Jews for Jesus. No, these were not simple coincidences.
I am still very much an analytical person. But now my measurements have taken on a whole new dimension. I realize that the Creator of the Universe is also the Creator of the measurements of life. It is only in measuring by His standards that we can achieve accurate results. His coincidences are not really coincidences at all; they are evidences of God’s involvement in the not-so-random details of life.