Sunday night, while driving the 4 hours home after a very long, fulfilling, inspiring weekend I heard the voice of God. Not a booming scary voice out of the clouds. Not a wimpy , weak voice. But a still, small voice in my spirit.
The word rang through my mind and soul. It pierced the darkness as I ventured out on a snowy highway~ way too late to be driving home.
What is this “providence”?
I really didn’t understand where the word was coming from or why it even pertained to me.
It was louder, clearer and the impression was that I should perk up and listen.
Background story: I have never used this word in any conversation and I can honestly say that I don’t recall a time I ever wanted to use the word. Perhaps it is only because my experience has taught me to doubt the sincerity of anyone using this word to replace the name of God. I cringe when the name of our Creator is replaced with something “softer”, more politically correct and somewhat inferior. Or at least, that’s what I thought. The only other time I can recall ever hearing it was in a song. A song written many years ago by Michael W. Smith. I liked the song….a bit. It wasn’t my favourite but I sang along. And really, I did not understand the words. I do now.
- a looking to, or preparation for, the future; provision
- skill or wisdom in management; prudence
- the care or benevolent guidance of God or nature
- an instance of this
- God, as the guiding power of the universe
As I was driving I was having this conversation with God about the meaning of providence. I did not have access to a dictionary. But I didn’t need one. Providence begins with the word PROVIDE.
Have you ever prayed for something for so long that you forgot to even expect an answer? Like really forgot? I have. I still am. I’m willing to admit that even though I believe that God hears my prayers I sometimes don’t give Him credit for being able to answer them. Recently, my focus has shifted to others around me and their prayers. People, who for years and years, have prayed the same prayer hoping that God would somehow meet their need and fulfill the longings of their souls. One particular person praying for God to PROVIDE a very specific need came across my path. Her life and my life have intersected in the most peculiar way. And although it is not my story to tell( maybe someday it will be), I do know that Sunday night I was questioning God’s timing and whom He uses.
I wondered if God would leave this girl hanging with more unanswered prayers, disappointments or if He even had a handle on the situation at all. How could God use a couple of fairly odd people and a crazy set of circumstances to answer the prayer of a woman hundreds of miles away? How? And Why?
Providence. That’s when it hit me. I no sooner asked the question than the answer came forcing it’s way into my thoughts and fears. God provides. Don’t I know that by now? And when God provides, as only He can, everyone will know it.
Consider the ram in the thicket…..provided by God to ransom Isaac.
Or the flour and the oil, daily refilled…provided by God to feed Elijah, the widow and her son.
Or what about the manna that fell in the desert to feed the children of Israel?
And in my own life…..a $20 bill stuck in a grocery cart on a day when I needed milk and diapers but had only $8 in my possession. He provided again.
Then there’s Jesus……….the Provision for us all. The hand of God reached out across time to deliver His people from sin and the grave.
+++++++++I was beginning to see the point. ++++++++++++++++++++++
You see, in looking at this situation, I felt responsible. If God was going to answer someone else’s prayer, was He going to use me to do it? And what if He did and things didn’t work out?
And that’s where God stopped me.
The Hand of Providence is just that. It is GOD’S Hands, not mine. He is the great orchestrater, the artist.
He can do what He wants , when He wants.
Because He is God, and I am not.
He stopped me and He made me listen. Isn’t it just possible that God could take whatever situation you may be going through right now and change it 180* in the blink of an eye?
Could it be that sometimes God uses the oddest of people and the craziest of circumstances to do His work? Just because? And maybe, he can drop the answer to a 20 year old prayer in the lap of a girl, sitting at a computer……….an answer dropped right out of Heaven.
I’m not sure how this particular situation will work out~ will the girl with the prayer get her answer? Will she see Providence? Will Jehovah Jireh~ The Lord is my Provider~ provide THE way where there seemed to be no way? Will it be sweet and swift? Why not! Just because it takes God 20 years to answer a prayer doesn’t mean that the answer itself has to take another 20…..it may be weeks, months……but I don’t think it will be years. As the definition states~ He is preparing her for the future…..He is planning it out. HE. IS. PROVIDING.
So, for 4 hours, God and I had this talk about Providence and the way He provides. I don’t have to worry. He’s looking after the details. And while He works I’m watching from the sidelines, cheering.
“You go God!!!”
“He shoots…………………………..HE SCORES!!!!!”