Thursday, November 24, 2016

"What Providence Has Gone and Done"

Lesser scaup, one of the winter birds at the pond

Recently I read these words from Elisabeth Elliot on God's overarching Providence.

"The plan of God for our lives includes all of our circumstances, our entire heredity, every detail of our environment, each decision we make, all the decisions of others, absolutely everything. He can make even the wrath of man to praise Him--or any discomfiting circumstance.

"For Mark Twain in the winter of 1887, it was bad weather. He had anticipated a getaway with his wife Livy, who would come to him in New York from Hartford, Connecticut and then go with him for a brief holiday in Washington:
"And so, after all my labor and persuasion to get you to at last promise to take a week's holiday adn go off with me on a lark, this is what Providence has gone and done about it. A mere simple request to you to stay at home would have been entirely sufficient: but no, that is not big enough, picturesque enough--a blizzard's the idea: pour down all the snow in stock, turn loose all the winds, bring a whole continent to a stand-still: that is Providence's idea of the correct way to trump a person's trick. Dear me, if I had known it was going to make all this trouble and cost all these millions, I never would have said anything about your going to Washington.
"Our perspective is so limited. We keep forgetting that God's love does not show itself only in protection from suffering. It is of a different nature altogether. His love does not hate tragedy. It never denies reality. It stands firm in the teeth of suffering. The love of God did not protect His own Son from death on a cross. That was the proof of His love, though 'legions of angels' might have rescued Him. He will not necessarily protect us--not from anything it takes to make us like Jesus. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process. Through it all, we learn to trust Him in every little thing" (Elisabeth Elliot, Be Still My Soul, 52-54).

Thank You, Lord, for Your utter, all-pervasive sovereignty. Thank You for Your unflinching love. Thank You for not shrinking from doing whatever it takes to make us like Jesus. Thank You for reason to thank You, no matter what, because, no matter what, if we are in Christ we are better off than we deserve to be. Thank You for sweetening trials with celebrations, beauty, loved ones, and laughter. Through it all, grant us grace to trust You in every little thing, because of Jesus. Amen.

A blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours, dear Crumbles!

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