Text Illustrations
The Amazing Providence of God

In the late 1800’s a member of Britain’s Parliament went to Scotland to make a speech. He got off the train in Edinburgh, and then took a carriage south toward his destination. Unfortunately, the carriage became stuck in deep mud. A local farm boy came to the rescue with his team of work horses. In his gratitude, the politician offered a reward, but the boy refused, saying he wanted nothing.

"Well,” persisted the legislator, "Is there anything I can do for you? What would you like to do with yourself when you grow up?"

"I’d like to become a doctor" the young man replied.

The Member of Parliament promised to do what he could, and in fact se¬cured admission to the university for the young man.

During World War 2 more than 50 years later, Winston Churchill lay dan¬gerously ill in Morocco, suffering from pneumonia. A new wonder drug was admin¬istered to him, penicillin, which had been discovered by Sir Alexander Fleming, the Scottish farm boy of so long before. And the politician who had sponsored him to the university? He was Randolph Churchill, the father of Winston.

The providence of God is often dumbfounding to us. We shake our heads in amazement at the fantastic "coincidences" that we see in this world. Many of these things may actually be God working out His divine will right before our eyes. We can never tell how God may choose to execute His plans.

The patriarch Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers, was unjustly cast into prison by his Egyptian slave-owner, then was abandoned by a high official. Finally, he was extracted from prison and elevated to a position of great power in Egypt. When his brothers came to Egypt to buy grain to feed their starving families, Joseph had the power to wreak a terrible vengeance on them. They realized this and begged him for mercy. Joseph pointed out to them that all those things had come about through the providence of God in order to save many lives during the terrible famine.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives" (Genesis 50:20 NIV).

God still works in this world, and most of us can look back at times in our lives when He was bringing about some great thing for us. Sometimes the things we have complained about the loudest turn out to be great blessings to us. Sometimes a "chance" good deed we do has far-reaching effects. The providence of God is real, and we can never know when we are participating in His plan.

"In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden" (1 Timothy 5:25 NIV).

Let’s continue to do those good deeds and keep marveling at the providence of God working in our world!