Many times you read or hear the term “God winks.”

Do you know the meaning of this phrase? As it turns out, it is a noun and it means: Something taken as evidence that a higher power is at work; a coincidence. An event or personal experience, so astonishing that it is seen as a sign of divine intervention, especially when perceived as an answer to prayer, a coincidence.

My wife, Sue, has shared with me and many, many of our friends and family the words of Father Tim Tebalt: “There are no coincidences in life.” No coincidences. God’s plan. God’s hand.

We are firm believers in what Father Tim has always told us. Ask my brother James. He came back to the Catholic Church after a 40-year hiatus and started attending Mass regularly again. Shortly after this, he discovered he had cancer. Cancer in his sinus cavity on his optic nerve. A spot on his lung and adrenal gland.

We immediately started to pray for him. St. Anne parishioners started praying for him. Our prayers were heard. My brother’s surgery in his sinus cavity was successful, leaving only 10 percent of the tumor that is attached to the optical nerve. With the help of his strong chemo pill, the spot on his lung has not grown and the spot on his adrenal gland is getting smaller.

This is no coincidence! God’s plan. God’s hand.

God has a plan. I have been cancer free for more than 15 years. My surgeon told me that only 10 percent of colon cancer patients make it to the 10-year mark. God’s hand. God had plans for me.

A grandfather to six beautiful grandchildren and three years ordained as a deacon for St. Anne Catholic Church. This was not a coincidence.

Then there is our sixth grandchild, Elizabeth, our miracle baby. Born with a congenital heart defect. This problem was detected the day after she was born by the nurse who was running some tests on her. Elizabeth was taken to the NICU unit, along with her parents. Four hours later, my wife received the following text from our daughter: “Her oxygen levels just aren’t staying up, so they are putting her on a ventilator. She needs prayers, Mom. They might have to put her on cardiac bypass if her oxygen still doesn’t come up with the ventilator. Pray for her. Our 1 day old baby is going on cardiac bypass.”

We prayed. We had people praying for her all over the world. Jesus knows what is in your heart. He hears.

Elizabeth was transported to MUSC in Charleston, and at the age of 5 days, she had open-heart surgery. Her pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon told her parents that he wasn’t very hopeful about the surgery. I kept praying that Jesus would guide the surgeon’s hands through the entire surgical procedure and it would be successful. Prayers work. After the surgery, the surgeon told Elizabeth’s parents that the surgery went much better than what he had anticipated. God’s hand.

All of the medical staff remarked how Baby Elizabeth’s progress in her recuperation and healing progress surpassed all of their expectations. They were all very pleased. She got to go home after just one month at MUSC! God has a plan. God’s hand at work. Our miracle baby!

As I stated to our loving community at St. Anne’s, “For us, this has been our miracle, as we have been redeemed by Christ, and He gave Elizabeth His loving presence and graced her with His healing touch.”

Today, baby Elizabeth is off all medications! I still pray that Jesus will continue to be with her, watch over her, guide her, let her have a full recovery and let her live a normal, healthy full life!

Jesus loves His children. Jesus loves Elizabeth!

God’s hand, God’s plan.

Bob Cox is a deacon at St. Anne Catholic Church in Florence. Contact him and other board members at