I sit here at my table typing on my laptop surrounded by blessings. I am in a house that is priced at a price that is far less than it should be–in a house that My husband and I could not afford, and would not have found, if we did not have such thoughtful friends. I have a wardrobe that has more clothes in it than I need. I have a freezer full of food. I have a wonderful husband that treats me well. I have an amazing church family who is there for me and supports me. I am overwhelmed by blessings.
While I do not wonder at the source of my blessings, I do wonder at the grace of God in giving me so many good things and amazing opportunities. It may surprise you that I am so bold as to say that I do not wonder at the source. I know many people that wonder and speculate as to where their blessings come from, asking, “Did this blessing come from God? How can I know?” I do not believe we have to wonder, as the Bible tells us clearly:
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17)
Is what you have good? It came from God! Is what you have perfect? It came from God! It is that simple. We can know where our blessings have come from and where to direct our praises to!
While many believe that understanding God’s providence is a difficult concept, I do not believe it is so difficult to understand.
Understanding the way God brought about His blessings might be difficult, and knowing exactly all the processes He used to bring about His will might be difficult–but if a good thing has come into your life you can be sure that in some way God has provided for you (See the verse above).
I once had a teacher who told the class we never could know what to pray for, because God does not work in our lives in any direct way today. Is this really the case?
I believe God still rules in the kingdoms of men and somehow brings about the rise and fall of empires (Daniel 4; Habakkuk). I believe He makes all things work together for good for His people (Romans 8:28). I believe somehow He will give me wisdom if I ask for it (James 1:5). How could He accomplish all of this if He was not active in this world?
Please note that it is not that I believe that God will change His natural laws and works miracles today, but that I believe He works within His natural laws to bring our requests to fruition. I am reminded of an amazing story which contributed to the biggest blessing of my life–my growing up in a Christian home.
My mother grew up in the church of Christ, but her parents were lacking much in their understanding. Frustrated with the hypocrisy and false teaching of her parents (as they adopted the A.D.70 doctrine), my parents moved to another place and began worshiping by themselves, using only the Bible as their guide.
Though they were well-intentioned, there were many things which they did not know or understand.
One day, a preacher who was travelling to the next big city was passing through our small country town, and his car broke down. He fixed his car once, but it broke down again which caused him to think to himself “Maybe God wants me to stop here?” “Well, I suppose we should try and find the church of Christ here… if there is one!” the preacher said (or, at least I am sure he said something to that effect!).
He and his wife looked for the church of Christ and found us: my mother, father, aunt and uncle and me–at the time a little child. Upon worshiping with us, he found that we were practicing some things wrong. Though he was originally planning on moving on to the next big town, he decided to stay for three whole months, teaching my family daily the way of God more perfectly. He taught them for over two hours four days a week, as well as service times.
My parents realised that they had not fully understood God’s will for them, learnt many things, and were baptised.
My Dad is a gospel preacher, and he and my mother are working faithfully in Australia to this day. I have married a faithful missionary and am now working by his side in Singapore.
Do I know how God brought all this about exactly? No. Can I know this incident came from God? Absolutely. It was such a good and perfect gift. It has lead to so much good in two generations of Christians–and likely many more to come.
I am sure there are many other stories of providence such as this one!
My husband once described the work of God as an infinite chessboard, with infinite players all with their own free will–with which the Lord God is working in order to work His great and masterful plan. The understanding of the Lord is infinite. His ways are past understanding. While we cannot know how He does all of what He does, we can know that if it is good it is from Him.
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable” (Isaiah 40:28).
My only conclusion to a study of this subject matter can be:
“Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!” (Psalms 150:1, 2)
“Praise ye the Lord!” (Psalm 150:6)
Question: Do you have a story of providence you can share with me?