POINT OF INSPIRATION: Devotionals for Personal and Corporate Worship

Robert D. Pace

Many people assume that luck or chance govern life. They feel their fate has been “written in the stars” and life is settled regardless of which path they take. But to believe in luck, chance, or an irreversible fate “written in the stars” suggests there are venues that even God does not enter, and such assumptions are far from what the Bible makes clear about life. God would never let men get trapped in places where His Hand could not provide. He governs every twist, turn, and tether of life! So much so, that Proverbs 16:33 says, “The lot is cast into the lap but its every decision is of the Lord.” The God who ordained your existence is directly involved in your wellbeing. Yes, every aspect of it!

Some years back, I was preparing a sermon when my 7 year-old son, Davidson, looked over my shoulder and into my theology book. I asked him to read a few lines and he read well until his eyes fell upon a big word—Providence. He hesitated, looked intently, and dissected it with a phonetic pronunciation: “Pro-vide-ence.” I was stunned! Not only had Davidson scrutinized its articulation, he had deciphered its definition! Providence is God’s “Provide . . . ence”! It is God’s supply for His creation—as He is always planning, caring, and working for our welfare. I was so proud of my son’s accidental accomplishment!

But for those yet unimpressed with a 7 year-old’s interpretation, here’s how the Westminster Confession of Faith defines Providence: “God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions and things, from the greatest even to the least, by His most wise and holy providence, according to His infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of His own will, to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness and mercy.” (Seriously!) But on the other hand, “Pro—vide—ence,” means God’s “Provide” —— “ance”. And Jehovah-Jireh supplies Providence for all situations. He provides direction, instruction, protection, and sustenance throughout your life.

Now, I have a question: When contemplating the meaning of this big word, Providence, which do you prefer: the Westminster Confession of Faith or the definition of a 7 year-old boy?