How would your days be different if you truly believed, remembered and lived as if all your days were ordained by God? What if we embraced that every hour, actually every minute was planned by the careful hand of our father?
In Luke 13:31 we see Jesus being approached by some sneaky Pharisees and told that he should get away because Herod wants to kill him. We are not told what the motives of the Pharisees were in warning Jesus, but most commentators agree that it wasn’t because of any affection they had for him. Are they trying to get him out of town? Are they trying to scare him off? It’s possible. But what is more important is seeing how Jesus responds. He is not afraid. He is unperturbed. He knows his purpose in life and does not let himself get sidetracked.
And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course. (Luke 13:32)
Jesus knows his Father’s plan and trusts him implicitly. He knows his Father will care for him, be with him, and give him everything he needs to complete his purpose. Jesus continues on his way to Jerusalem preaching, teaching, and performing miracles because he knows that no one and no thing can cause Jesus to die before his appointed time. Not even Herod. This truth allows Jesus to move boldly and passionately forward in his mission of salvation. Jesus embraced the doctrine of God’s “providence.” I love the way the Heidelberg Catechism defines God’s providence.
“The providence of God is his almighty and everywhere present power, whereby as it were by hand, he upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, food and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yes, and all things come, not by chance—but by his fatherly hand.”
God upholds and governs all things. No wonder Jesus was not anxious. He not only knew and believed that God was completely in control, but his life showed that he believed it.
What about us? Are we aware of the providence of God over our lives? Do we truly believe that the difficulty, suffering and hurt we experience as God’s daughters are there by divine appointment, for our growth and for God’s glory (Rom 8 ). I think some of us get this, but only half way.
Sometimes it is easier to accept God’s hand of providence with big things since we know that they are completely out of our control. But what about the small stuff? Do we view life’s little interruptions as God’s plan for our day? I fail here a lot. The weather doesn’t cooperate with my plans for an outing, the traffic slows me down when I am in a hurry to get somewhere, the kids don’t respond the way I hoped after doing something nice for them. It is during these small trials that I easily forget the Almighty’s rule over my life. And when I forget I respond, not with grace or prayer or kindness, but with annoyance, anger and frustration.
But the truth is everything in our life, big and small, pleasant and painful, comes about under God’s providential care, and we can be confident that no matter what we face we have a God who is always with us (Matt. 28:20; Joshua 1:9) and a savior who prays for us (Romans 8:34)
God's loving hand is over all our circumstances, from the minute details to the enormously overwhelming situations. So we can, like Jesus, walk boldly in our calling in life and know with confidence that if our God is with us who can be against us.