“Good Luck”, “That was Fortunate”, “You sure were lucky” These are common phrase to us, even those of us who are Christians. I trust that in most cases the use of these phrases is based more on social convention rather than paying homage to some mysterious secretive force that pulls the strings behind the scenes in the affairs of our lives. As Christians we believe that God has and exercises a limitless dominion over all that He has created. One aspect of which is the foreordaining of the events of our lives. This is different than luck or fortune because it is the activity of a living, thinking and feeling God. God’s providence is the effect of his sovereign arrangement of all the affairs of our lives. Stated plainly for the Christian, or any person for that matter nothing ever happens by chance, luck or fortune. Our lives are the experience of providence.
God’s providence is one of the most comforting works of God. We are reminded that for believers he works all things together for God to those who love Him. This is a Christian specific promise that we can rely upon as we travel the road of life. Good, as well as bad, is assumed in the statement of “all things for good”. Therefore in all circumstance we can trust that the events in our lives transpire with the expressed intent and goal of our good. Therefore, we are to remain steadfast, joyful and worshipful.
Our little Noah was born at 7:30pm on June 14, 2007. He was the second blessing added to our growing family in two years and we are glad to welcome him into our family. His story is already full of the fingerprints of Gods providence. A little more than three hours earlier Amy and I were at home playing with Jonah and his grandparents. I had just come home from work and was expecting to spend an evening at home with family. As I built little stacks of wooden blocks for Jonah to knock over Amy gasped and announced that her water had broken. It was a little past 5:15pm, which is about the earliest I get home if I leave work ‘on time’. Within 15 minutes the car was loaded and we shuttled off ta Glendale Adventist. You can put two and two together- The 101 freeway is the heavenliest traveled corridor in the San Fernando Valley and we got on it for a 25 mile drive during L.A. rush hour traffic. We raced to the freeway where we screeched to a halt and took our place in a line of cars that stretched endlessly before us.
Amy was in hard labor as soon as her water broke and the only thing moving quickly on that baking asphalt was her delivery. As we crept mile by mile I had visions of honking my horn and yelling out the window, “Outta the way morons! Pregnant woman coming through! If you don’t want to help me deliver this baby then get out of the way!” All fingers were kept on the steering wheel and the only words I spoke were spoken to comfort my wife as we crept along making it to the hospital nearly an hour after we left home.
Amy was quickly triaged. Everything was looking good. It was just a before 6:30pm and with another round of check ups it was discovered that she was very far progresased in her delivery. There was not enough time to receive an Epidural and our doctor was paged to immediately come to labor and delivery. Contractions intensified, the baby was coming. At about 7:25 our doctor arrived and with just a couple pushes Noah made his entrance into this world. By 7:40pm we were holding our little boy.
From the time her water broke to the time we were holding Noah was less than three hours. Providence is realized in the following events and circumstances.
1) Had I not left work early and were I to have arrived home at my normal time, in all likelihood I would have been delivering my second born at the confluence of the 101 and 134 freeway during rush hour traffic. ‘A breaking news event sure to make the evening news as we snarled traffic on two of busiest freeways in the Southland’, is all I could imagine.
2) We made it to the hospital on time, without breaking any traffic laws on the way and while navigating over 20 miles of rush hour gridlock. We had no control over the speed of the traffic, we only had control over how we would perceive the situation and we committed to seeing the situation as in the hands of God who loves and cares for us.
3) Amy arrived at the hospital too far progressed for an epidural but I was there to help Amy instead of in New Zealand were I had been just a week before. God provided for Amy a help mate and encourager that help her through labor pains not eased by any medication.
4) Our doctor arrive mere minutes before the birth of Noah in part because he had been caught in traffic as he rushed from his office to our room. We know him and know that if he could have done anything to get here sooner he would have but as it was he arrived at just the right time to perform all the tasks required of him. Again the providence of God displayed, as our doctor arrived not one minute too late, nor a moment to soon.
5) Because we knew the time was near for Amy and contractions made chasing our 16 month old around the house difficult, Amy asked her parents to come down to our home to help out for a few days. Everyone anticipated a couple of days working around the house before Amy would be in the hospital. But again the providence of God is demonstrated in that God knew that that very evening our parents help would be necessary even though at the beginning of the day we had no notion that Noah would be born that evening.
6) The hospital we stayed out has been extremely busy for a couple of weeks, sometime to the point of not having any rooms available for labor and delivery which means some moms have been giving birth in surgical suites or other venues. We arrived just as one of these tides ebbed so we got right into a labor and delivery room and a recovery room without waiting one minute.
7) When we arrived at the hospital there was only one parking spot left open near the entrance to labor and delivery. Additionally as we were pulling up a nurse was helping another new mother out of a wheel chair and into a car. We were able to get the attention of the nurse who allowed us to use the wheel chair to move Amy into the hospital. Without this we would have had to walk 400 feet between the contractions that were so strong now she could hardly stand.
I’m sure there are more items that could be listed here but I hope the picture has been painted and image indelibly imprinted on your mind- we do not serve a god of hope and change, of fortune of luck- we serve a God of providence, foreordination and predestination. We worship a God who is in control and who works all things for good to those who love Him. If you are part of a religious system that at the end of the day does not leave you with the trusting hope that your god is in control or with the confidence that your god cares enough about the details of your life to offer the promise of working all things together for good- please stop and consider from these few examples that the God of the Bible has not simply told us that He is love- other deities have done this, but our God has told us He is love but His actions. From these lesser examples from our little Noah, to the greatest expression of love and provision – Jesus Christ. The God of the Bible is alive, does care and gives the exclusive promise to his Children alone of working all things together for our good. You can partake of this hope is you will confess your sin and trust in Jesus as the Savior and Lord of your soul.