Providence

God’s providence is very evident throughout our everyday lives. It is by this means that we have our life and the ability to make decisions throughout our day regarding it. Every so often extraordinary events occur for which His providence is the only explanation. On June 8, 1966 a violent tornado crossed the campus of Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. School officials knew that severe weather was a possibility and moved a piano concert from the auditorium of the music building, whose roof would not fare well in a tornado’s winds to the southwest corner of the building. The piano at that end of the building however was out of tune, and so the concert was moved to the southeast corner of the building. As the twister tore across the campus, it completely destroyed the music building except for the southeast corner where those who attended that piano concert were left with no harm done to them. In March of 1955 a church choir in Beatrice, Nebraska gathered every Wednesday night to rehearse for the upcoming service on Sunday. Usually every member of the choir was punctual when it came to showing up for practice. On this particular night, however, everyone was delayed for one reason or another. One man had to write an urgent letter to a church mission committee, a girl stayed home later than normal to listen to a radio program. Another girl wanted to finish a book she was reading. it was good thing that everyone was late on this particular evening because the church furnace, which was underneath the choir loft, exploded, destroying the whole church. The lives of all the choir members were spared. While God’s providence doesn’t always show itself in such dramatic ways, it still guides and directs our everyday lives. Psalm 139 shows this clearly is the case. David in this passage says: “Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways” (Psalm 139:2,3). God’s providential hand is everywhere and not even darkness can obscure it (verse 12). This guidance of God is evident from the moment we are born till the moment we die. “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (verses 14-16). He has planned everything that we say, do, think, and write. If and when we meet our future spouses is planned in His eternal counsel. God in His providence guides the course of history so that events happen according to His plan. For example, the Reformation and the invention of the printing press by Johann Gutenberg occurred around the same time so that God’s word could be printed and distributed in German and other languages, first around Europe, and then around the rest of the world as well. The colonists wickedly rebelled against the God-given authority of King George III of Great Britain. This started the Revolutionary War, which ended with Lord Cornwallis’ defeat at the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 and the Treaty of Paris in 1783. It was this conflict that gave rise to our country, a nation where even today the church can still worship in a persecution-free environment. God in His providence also gives all the plants and animals in His creation the food they need to sustain their earthly lives. Most importantly He gives us everything we need, not just physically, but spiritually as well. In His good pleasure He has given us His word to read and has made us members of churches that proclaim His word faithfully. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love” (Ephesians 1:3,4). This “almighty and everywhere present power of God,” as Lord’s Day 10 of the Heidelberg Catechism calls it, is a great comfort to us as we walk on this earth. May we continue to be mindful of God’s providence and thankful for its evidence in our daily lives.
Kevin Rau

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s