Frowning Providence & God’s Smiling Face
I commented to a friend one day how welcome the sun was after so many cloudy and stormy days. An inveterate optimist who seems to always discover a silver lining in otherwise gloomy circumstances, she pointed out that the sun was always there, even when hidden from view. To ensure that I didn’t miss the spiritual application, she also reminded me that the Lord is always with us even when things look dark.
I don’t often appreciate people turning an innocent comment about the weather into a soapbox. But this particular friend is such a sunny Christian who faces challenging circumstances with laudable faith, that one can’t be annoyed with her. Don’t you wish there were more positive, hopeful Christians committed to spreading sunshine wherever they go? In my case, her comment has inspired me often to revel in the promised presence of our triune God—and led to this devotional.
It is hard to imagine someone facing more challenges and difficulties than David. And yet he was able to pen not only the twenty-third psalm but many other gems. The following verse from his pen, I’ve often claimed: I have set the Lord always before me./Because he is at my right hand,/ I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8)
Jesus warned his disciples three times about his coming death, an event that could have totally shaken their faith. To prepare them he explained; I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.…He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans. (John 14: 16-18)
Then just before his ascension, He gave them the Great Commission. Embedded in that command was his promise: And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matt. 28:20)
Knowing that our Lord is present beyond the veil of sight, will not deliver us from troubles. Economic challenges will sometimes stymie us. We must continue to remain vigilant in traffic. Illness may lay us low. Sorrow could dog our footsteps. Relationships may falter. Persecution might come. But we will never be alone.
Angels will be attending our pathway. Jesus Christ will be praying that our faith fail not. The Holy Spirit will be within us empowering us to resist the enticements of our own fallen nature. The Father will be operating behind the scenes so that all things in our lives will work out for our good and His glory. The Holy Spirit will be interceding for us with groans that words cannot express. All the resources of heaven will be bent on carrying us triumphantly to heaven.
We live in a fallen, chaotic world prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and wars. But as the hymn writer reminds us: Behind a frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.
Although sometimes hidden, the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. (Psalm 84:11) (For other devotional readings bringing Scripture and nature together go to Eric’s web site, www.countrywindow.ca or purchase his book, Down A Country Road.)