When we use the word providence in reference to God we mean that He faithfully foresees and effectively preserves, provides and governs over His creation most often through secondary causes. Proverbs 20:24 says, “The very steps we take come from God; otherwise how would we know where we’re going?” (The Message)
On March 29, 2004, I clearly witnessed the Lord’s providence. I was in Atlanta to give two concerts and speak in a good friend’s church and was on my way home. I called my wife from the airport to coordinate picking me up in Portland when she informed me of the death of our friend Laurie. Laurie’s husband, Dan, a West Point classmate of mine, was serving as a reservist in Afghanistan. After getting the pertinent information from Kathleen, I called Dan’s reserve unit and asked the family support representative to call me with the flight information for Dan’s arrival. At the time of my call the unit did not know his arrival time, what airline he was on, etc.
As soon as I hung up I felt led to pray. I asked God to put me on Dan’s flight. I then boarded my plane and flew to Cincinnati. As I waited in Ohio for my connecting flight, Delta announced that the flight was overbooked and asked for volunteers to give up their seats. Eager to get the free ticket they offered and able to delay my return, I moved to the check-in counter to volunteer. While standing there, a voice called out “Hey Dano.” I looked over to my right and there sat Dan! Amazed and gratified, I left the counter to join him. I was able to change my seat and sit next to Dan. God wonderfully put us together on his last leg of a difficult journey home.
The Heidelberg Catechism (1563) asks: “What is your only comfort in life and death?” Answer: “That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ who . . . so preserves me that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must work together for my salvation.” Friend, God sent me to Atlanta and planned my return so that at just the right time I could be with a dear brother. We met in a city I virtually never fly through. I cannot even begin to calculate the odds . . . What matters is that God lovingly foreknew, answered prayer and yet again illustrated His powerful providence. Our loving Father cares for us. Even in the midst of difficult times we can and should trust Him! We can believe with Paul, “And we know that He works all things togetherfor the good of those who love God who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 ISV).
The word “provide” (from Latin providere) means etymologically “to foresee.” The corresponding Greek word, πρόνοια, prónoia, means “forethought.” . . . The doctrine of divine providence, therefore, has reference to that preservation care and government which God exercises over all things that He has created in order they may accomplish the ends for which they were created.--The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Providence is the most comprehensive term in the language of theology. It is the background of all the several departments of religious truth, a background mysterious in its commingled brightness and darkness. It penetrates and fills the whole compass of the relations of man with his Maker. It connects the unseen God with the visible creation, and the visible creation with the work of redemption, and redemption with personal salvation, and personal salvation with the end of all things. It carries our thoughts back to the supreme purpose which was in the beginning with God, and forward to the foreseen end and consummation of all things, while it includes between these the whole infinite variety of the dealings of God with man.—W. B. Pope in Compendium of Christian Theology, I
©2004 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)