Barbara J. Hill
"ALL things are open to His divine survey;
He orders that which His providence sees is best."
Key Thought: "Sir, do you mean God doesn’t very often prevent tragedy? I think He is preventing tragedy all the time! God is intimately concerned about our every moment and keeps us safe from numerous unseen dangers and future problems. Small things do not escape His notice i.e. a tiny sparrow or the hairs of our head. Just because life goes on smoothly do we think God has nothing to do with it? Life goes on smoothly because of God’s foreknowledge and providence!"
The teacher began by quoting one of my favorite references: “Above the circle of the earth God sits enthroned, all things are open to His divine survey and He orders that which His providence sees is best.”
Then the teacher commented that he didn’t think God pulled “levers” very often to intervene in human affairs. That got me to thinking fast and furious. I felt offended for my God. Sir, do you mean God doesn’t very often prevent tragedy? I think He is preventing tragedy all the time! God is intimately concerned about our every moment and keeps us safe from numerous unseen dangers and future problems. Small things do not escape His notice i.e. a tiny sparrow or the hairs of our head.
Just because life goes on smoothly do we think God has nothing to do with it? Life goes on smoothly because of God’s foreknowledge and providence!
Providence means that He looks ahead, sees potential problems and sets the machinery of life - pulls ‘levers’ - to avert disaster. He often looks ahead and sees what will make us happy! He goes about preparing people, places, events, timing, just to give us joy. He also provides for unexpected needs that will arise in the future.
I prayed for a good pilot and a good plane for my ﬂight to Florida. Near the time to board it was announced that the plane had been downgraded and we would all have to come to the desk for new seat assignments. When all had boarded and were waiting to start, the pilot announced his apology for the wait. He had suddenly been called to ﬂy this plane and that was as soon has he could get there.
Hmmm! Did God go to extra lengths to answer my prayer? Why bother to pray if I don’t think God will do anything anyway? I felt pretty special-awed by my “forever friend” God. Many auto accidents that nearly happened have ended with “Oh, thank you, Lord for preventing that . . . so glad I didn’t pull out just then or so glad that car didn’t hit me.” The CPA doing my income tax warned me that there would be a high tax to pay this year. Fortunately there was the account where mortgage payments to me were accumulating . . . enough to pay the unplanned extra tax.
He provides the wonderful Holy Spirit to comfort us in our sorrows and to calm us in our panic. I was driving to Orlando before daylight one morning when I began to wonder if I would recognize the entrance ramp onto I-94 along the remote country road I was traveling alone in the dark. Super panic was overtaking any rational thinking until my guardian angel said calmly, “You will recognize it.” Just then my headlights illuminated the sign. As I turned I was awed by God’s care for a widow not used to traveling alone. As for joy—He prepared a place for me to work where I would have delightful opportunities to create and print publications and other things with the computer. Every day at my job provides greater joy than I could have ever imagined and wished for in my grandest dreams.
I prayed for God to help me sell my house in Florida. I asked Him to make it easy: “just have someone walk in off the street and decide to buy it.” When I was finally ready to sell after 2 years of debating with myself, He indeed sent a buyer “off the street” who walked in on the very day I was moving out. Said it was just what they were looking for and decided to buy. And that took care of that in a very rapid fashion! When I was ﬁrst married I thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have two of each - 2 boys and 2 girls!” In God’s timing He gave us our quiet wish.
Why is God so good to me? Is it because I am good? No, it couldn’t be that! Isn’t it because He is so good? “When I consider the heavens…” Now that the Hubble Space Ship is revealing more and more of the heavens than David could have known. I am impressed with the immensity of the universe, the greatness of God, His astonishing ability to take care all the details of zillions of worlds and His tender care for one small world that is rebelling against Him. In this one small world of His great universe he takes care of the needs of every person, every animal, ﬁsh and bird. He loves us with the tenderness of a mother who comes close to kiss us on the cheek. He walks with us in our troubles and confusion, advises us with His great wisdom. Why not trust Him? He knows far better than we do what will bring us the most joy. He wishes for us to prosper and be in health. I suspect He would love to have lots of Josephs and Daniels through whom He could show His great keeping power and guidance.
Sure! Tragedies do happen; problems large and small do arise!! I think such things are tests of faith. Not just a test for poor humans to fail, but a faith-check that in the end strengthens faith. If it weren’t for problems we wouldn’t need miracles - breathtaking miracles that send praises to God! Wow! Did you see how God handled that? With amazement we watch God’s majestic, unhurried, yet no delay intervention-His “‘lever’ pulling.” Seeing the end from the beginning God knows how to shape events to ﬁt His eternal wise plan. You always wanted to be on the winning side, didn’t you?
When I trust God instead of test God, I am on His side. Instead of complaining or rebelling, I am content with the way He handles things. No matter what comes, that trust tells me that He is doing all things well. Even though it’s tough now, even though I don’t understand why things are the way they are, I know that He will bring me and those for whom I am praying to the very place desired-on this earth and in the earth to come. God, our Friend, loves us so much that He always sees to it that our needs are met “abundantly more than we can ask or think.”
I am glad for “God’s levers.” I am glad for His great power to control people and events. I am glad I am not left alone with big machinery that I don’t know how to handle.