How much of your life does God arrange?
Some gifted theologians, scholars, and pastors met in Heidelberg to talk about this. Four and a half centuries ago they agreed on how much of life God arranges. This is their answer.
The almighty and ever-present power of God … upholds, as it were by His own hand, heaven and earth together with all creatures, and rules in such a way that plants and animals, rain and drought, fruitful and unfruitful years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, and everything else, come to us not by chance but by His fatherly hand.
This is a way to say that God is in control over things that are utterly unpredictable and random to us.
The Bible is full of examples of God’s providence. Proverbs 16 is a great place to start for general principles, but take for instance a story recorded in the book of Esther.
There, an emperor named Xerxes has ordered that all the Jews in his land be exterminated. Little does he know that he is married to one, his queen named Esther.
A message is sent by a man named Mordecai to Esther because he knew that she had special access to the emperor’s ear. Mordecai’s message to Esther is this: “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).
The Queen prepared herself to use her position to make a personal plea to the king. First, however, she assembles a team to pray. She wanted God’s wisdom to maximize the chances of receiving Xerxes’ favor.
Maybe relief and deliverance would not come through Esther but by someone else (4:14). She could not know. Nevertheless, she wanted to act as strategically as she could. One outcome, from her vantage point, even her doing what is right, is that she might die. Esther acknowledges this when she says, “If I perish, I perish” (v. 16).
Like Esther, there may be a time in your life when God places you in a special position to do something risky for his people. And if not risky, you will most certainly find yourself in a special position to attempt something great for God. Whenever that opportunity comes do not pretend to know the outcome but be certain of this: God is in complete control.
How much of your life does God arrange? Far more than we know. So, love God, and work to love all of life.
Now that’s something to Celebrate!