Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mystery of Providence - Chapter Thirteen

The Advantages of Recording our Experiences of Providence

This final chapter is simply an admonition from the author that Christians record their experiences of Providence, not only for their personal reflection, but for the benefit of all who might come upon them in written form. All throughout this month I have been led to lay before you the providential work of God during my life, especially as it related to my preparation for ministry.

God has truly been good to me and my family, much better than we deserve. We deserve death and hell, but He has given us life and eternity in His presence. He directs our steps, corrects our faults, and provides for our every need. To Him alone be glory, now and forever.

In wrapping up this month's reflections on John Flavel's The Mystery of Providence, let me recount one final example of God's providential care. It is not a large thing, and there may be some reading who will not see any importance in this event. Yet, I am constantly reminded by experiences such as this that my life is not in my hands, but is constantly in His care.

Yesterday morning, the vehicle that I normally drive to work would not start. After several attempts I went to "Plan B", which was to drive my pickup truck. Since I normally don't drive it, due to the current price of gasoline, it was parked further up our driveway. As a result, I needed to carefully back it up, taking care not to hit the fence, the vehicle which didn't start, and, most importantly, my wife's car. As a result of the first car not starting, coupled with the slow and careful extraction of the pickup from our driveway, I was in my office about 10 minutes later than usual. When I returned home I attempted to start the first vehicle, and it started right up. It also worked perfectly today as well. There is no apparent reason why this vehicle didn't start yesterday.

Why did this happen? I don't believe that I will ever know why, either this side of Glory or the next. However, I can know that nothing happens outside of His direction. Could it be that I needed to be 10 minutes later getting on the road so as to keep from being hit by the speeding car running a red light? Did this delay keep me from being in the path of a semi-truck when the driver weaved into the wrong lane on the freeway? Could there have been some other calamity that I avoided by being late? When you begin thinking this way you see countless possibilities.

How do we normally react to situations like this? Isn't our first inclination that of complaint? Don't we feel "put out" that everything didn't operate in accordance with our plans? Instead, we should be thankful that our God does all things well, even when that means experiencing delay and a disruption to our schedules.

After reading this book, and reflecting upon both its words and my experience, I have come to see that Romans 8:28 is true, completely true.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (ESV)

May each of us recount the blessings of His Providence, taking care to tell others of His goodness towards us.

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