Many women have influenced my life through the years, but one woman has especially made a great impact on how I live my Christian life, Mrs. Nancy Wilson. Today I am grateful for her willingness to be part of this series that has proved to be a blessing to many.
When the glass casserole dish cracks, and half the lasagna falls on the floor on its way from the oven to the kitchen counter just as the guests are arriving, it’s good to have a strong confidence in God’s Providence over all things. In His good providence, He wanted this to happen. Tonight. Some day it will make a good story. But tonight, with dinner on the floor and guests in the hallway, it seems pretty tragic.
What is God’s Providence? It is God’s foreordaining of all things, and His care and protection of His creatures in the midst of all that comes to pass. When we trust in God’s Providence, we are saying we trust that He is working all things out for our good and His glory. And when we trust in Him in this way, we can rest. And we can know that He ordains all that comes to pass. Sometimes we call an event a wonderful providence. This is usually when we have our prayers answered in a remarkable way. But some events are difficult and painful. These we call a hard providence. But if our theology is biblical, we will know that they are both good because God is the author of all that comes to us.
When we view the world this way, we can interpret all God’s ways in a positive light. We know He is good, and we know that He loves us, His children. Therefore, we can walk through trials knowing that it is a wise and loving Father who has ordained this event for us.
Having this view of Providence is very helpful, not only in the kitchen, but in every area. Lasagna on the floor may be a mess, but it is not life-threatening. Cancer is another story. What about that? Is God overseeing even that
The first time I read All Things for Good by Thomas Watson, I was leading a group of women through the book all together. One of the women in the group had just lost her husband in a snowmobile accident. She had six children, and the youngest was five. When we studied God’s Providence together, we had a very close-up view of what a comfort this doctrine is in the midst of hard times.
Sometimes it is easy to see Providence at work in other people’s lives, but we may have a difficult time seeing Him in our own circumstances. We can send others encouraging notes about trusting God, but when the trial hits us close to home, it may be more difficult to actually submit to God’s Providence. It may be a hard providence. But God gives more grace. Not only is He the God of Providence, but He is also the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.
We must learn to interpret God’s ways as He intends them .We must never attribute bad motives to God. Circumstances may change, but He never changes. Our lives are His from first to last. And He does all things well.
The Puritans understood this. When they were in the midst of affliction, they tried to be good stewards of the affliction. This takes us back to the lasagna. If we can be a good steward of a kitchen mishap like that, then we can learn to take it to the next level, and learn to receive all God’s good providences, whether hard or wonderful, as opportunities to glorify Him.
>I used to think I knew God best from how He poured out sweet providence. But truly I have come to know and love Him more deeply for the hard providence. If I will thank Him for health, I must also thank Him for illness because the imperative is to give thanks in all things. An encouraging post for the honoring of the Lord. Thank you.
>Nancy, Thank you so much for this wonderful reminder of God's blessed control over all events, both large and small. I find that sometimes those lasagne spills are the hardest tests to pass as they tend to catch me off guard. … As if God isn't in the Kitchen too.God bless you and have a joyous Resurrection Day!
>"A hard providence."Thank you, Nancy, for offering perspective in and out of the kitchen. Sometimes we make mountains out of molehills, and then God actually sends us a mountain, and we learn what faith in reality looks like.Although I've experienced only a few "hard providences" in my life, they've always been, as you say, added to with more grace. -E
>After hearing Nancy recommend All Things for Good during one of her talks, I bought the book. It truly was eye opening and humbling, and it is one of my favorites that I go back to over and over again. I couldn't help but weep over the pages, moved by my own ingratitude and by God's amazing goodness in ALL things.Thank you for this encouraging post!
>Nancy thank you for this article today. I love to read about God's providence in all things. We can trust Him with our home, our family, our government. He is in control through good times and bad. It gives me comfort to know this. Thank you for sharing this truth!Blessings this Easter!
>Beautiful. From start to finish. How blessed I am to have read this today. Thank you for articulating so beautifully the truth of this doctrine — it is an anchor to the soul! Wishing you and yours a beautiful Easter. Love and blessings, Christina
>I remember reading a line in "Everyday Talk" by Jay Younts about how even our comments about the weather reflect what we think about how God is ruling His world.This post goes very well with my reading of The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogee! Thanks for sharing!!
>This doctrine is what helped me get through my own cancer diagnosis. I believed God was sovereign, he was in control, this did not take him by surprise and it could be used for his purposes, and ultimately his glory. I found that he seemed to give us an extra measure of grace during that time, surrounding us with people who would pray, encourage, and care for us. It can be a hard doctrine to grasp, especially when you are hurting, but in the end it was beleiving in the providence of God that helped us get through our trial.
>Thank you so much for this! I have to admit, I have thoroughly loved all these posts but so far this is my favorite. I have known a few Christians crushed by adversity and disaster, if only they understood this doctrine and trusted God even in hard times. This was a wonderful reminder that indeed in any circumstance God is in control. Thank you so much for sharing such words of wisdom.