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About Providence

Providence:

divine guidance or care
God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny
Definition from Merriam-webster.com

Before I started my first business, cialis usa shop designing plastic injection molds on a computer from a home office, cialis canada ailment I had thought that I could print out my drawings on my Canon ink jet printer which was capable of printing on 11” x 17” pieces of paper. I knew this wasn’t the best solution. I had reasoned that this would work for awhile until I was able to buy a full size plotter. But before long, malady and still before I had officially taken the plunge of self employment, I had come to realize that I would need a real drawing plotter. Something that would take my CAD drawings and output them on 24” x 36” sheets of paper. Already a substantial amount of money had been invested (spent) on a powerful Gateway personal computer – which is a small fraction of the power available on computers today but at that time was very expensive. More money had been spent on the CAD software. How to afford a plotter that was more expensive than a computer and software combined was the reason this purchase had been put off for the future. However, to design plastic injection molds on a contract basis I would need large drawings.

The solution occurred very quickly. My wife mentioned to her Dad in passing that I could use a plotter. Most people don’t know what a plotter is but he said his brother in Michigan had a plotter that he wasn’t using. My wife called him and he said we could borrow it – for free. It had originally cost $10,000. It was a Hewlett Packard pen-plotter identical to what I had been use to. It had its own very sturdy metal stand and was built to last for ever. The following Saturday I took a seat out of the van, loaded up our two oldest, drove to Michigan and returned with a plotter.

In a one week span I went from realizing that for this new business to have a chance that I would need a plotter, to having a plotter in the back of our living room at no charge; a real wake-up-call that God does provide.

Many years later it became apparent that a faster ink jet plotter would serve me better. A friend mentioned that he was upgrading his plotter and wanted to sell his perfectly good existing plotter. (I was provided for once again.)

The reason for starting a business was never one of getting rich but of helping my wife. She was becoming overwhelmed from homeschooling our children and watching our youngest, who after several years of some medical issues (he was born with Down syndrome), was now becoming a handful.

I eventually left the security of being just an employee and went out on my own. Through word of mouth, not mine but by others – I don’t believe I ever received any work by self-promotion, the business worked and I was busy for many years.

I don’t presume to know God’s will but I do believe that God’s will prevails or in other words by God’s providence. I know that God’s will is best. Ending one business and looking for another start wasn’t my first choice but after twelve years it was becoming obvious that a change was in store for us – very big changes; including selling our home, ending my business, leaving all friends and family, and our church.

How do you know where to go – that is a very hard question. What signs can you look for that may indicate where you should go? In fact we saw two signs. Some may think we were stretching things, but what were we suppose to think God was telling us when we were driving north, seriously wondering and questioning where we should be going, when suddenly a double rainbow appears in the direction we were driving. Do you think maybe this is the direction? Or what do you think God is telling you when you take your two oldest on a tour of the county of where you plan to move, stop at the resort you often stay at, go up to the lounge and look straight out the window and a bald eagle is circling at eye level. This was the first time I had ever seen an eagle here. Immediately you recall Isaiah:

40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Obvious signs aren’t always provided, but you may be surprised of how many subtle signs are there if you only look.

Providence Workshop isn’t a name implying that I know God’s will, or even able to do God’s will, or is God’s workshop. But that God is in charge of my life and everyone’s life. God does exist. I believe that God is in charge and that I am not. When God starts something it starts. If he wants it to succeed for awhile it will. If he wants it to stop and you to do something different – then that is what happens. But God will take care of you and provide for you.

God might call/direct you to one place for awhile and then a different place. Does that mean you went the wrong place first – no. God directed Joseph and Mary to Egypt for awhile and then back to Nazareth. We too are still on the move; having packed and unpacked again. God provided a nice house for us to temporarily live in – in a way that could only be by his direction (and in his timing).

The house became available to us because the owners, a wonderful Christian couple who weren’t able to sell their home in the poor housing market and were also now living hundreds of miles away in St. Louis, decided to let us rent the home out of desperation. We lived in that house for two years and then purchased a small home nearby. The house we purchased was our second choice. The house we originally attempted to purchase God would not allow to close – the final time we were only 10 minutes away with check in hand. Another house became available and a few weeks later it was ours  – with no snags.

The housing market was still bad for the St. Louis couple when we turned it back over to them. Once again they put the house back on the market. This time it sold – in 10 days!

We don’t know all the answers, very few actually, but we are trying to trust God. Trust His good and perfect will.

I had started this narrative a long time ago and then filed it away. When I read the following article from Moody’s monthly magazine Today in the Word, I was especially attracted to their article on God’s Providence. I hope you will be too and that it will encourage you to trust and build a stronger faith in Him.

Theology Matters – November

The Providence of God

The biblical doctrine of providence teaches that the God who created all things continues to be involved with His creation. God exercises His control over the animate and inanimate world and has established the “laws” that govern nature (Job 38:4-12). He supplies food for His creatures and cares for unbelievers as well as believers (Ps. 104:14; Matt. 5:45; 6:26). Indeed, adverse circumstances are not necessarily an indication of God’s displeasure. Although Jesus was the beloved Son in whom the Father was “well pleased,” the Savior had “no place to lay his head” (Matt. 3:17; 8:20). He was despised by His own people and abandoned by His friends.

This underscores the most mysterious aspect of divine providence. Through providence God orders all human affairs. While men and women exercise their own volition and make “free” choices, God incorporates their actions into His greater purposes. He does this with the great affairs of nations as well as with the small concerns of the individual. Even actions that seem to work against God’s purposes are included in divine providence. In fact, God does not sin, nor does He entice anyone to sin (James 1:13-17). Yet He uses what is meant for evil for His own good purposes (Gen. 50:20).

The Westminster Shorter Catechism says that Christians should believe that their circumstances “are running in a direct line” toward the accomplishment of God’s promises, even when things seem to go contrary to them. God is using these unlikely circumstances to fulfill His purposes “though we cannot see it at the time.”

Nowhere is this more evident than in the death of Christ. Those who crucified the Savior “with the help of wicked men” acted according to “God’s set purpose and foreknowledge” (Acts 2:23). Though they acted on their own volition and were accountable for their sinful choices, they did what God’s “power and will had decided beforehand should happen” (Acts 4:27-28).

It is the doctrine of providence that enables us to “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thess. 5:18). When we do so, we are not saying that we are pleased with all that happens to us. Nor does our thanksgiving imply that everything that happens to us is good. We give thanks because we know that through His providence, “God works for the good of those who love him” in all that happens (Rom. 8:28).

For Further Reading
To learn more about biblical doctrine of providence, read The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel (Banner of Truth).

Theology Matters – November, The Providence of God is a reprint from the monthly magazine Today In The Word, November 2009, published by the Moody Bible Institute. For more information click here.