Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Mystery of Providence

I'm currently reading The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel. Flavel was a pastor in Dartmouth in the 1600's and so this book is not an easy read but it is very worthwhile. It focuses on God's providence, defined by the Westminster Shorter Catechism as "His most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures and all their actions." Flavel argues that as Christians it is our duty to meditate on the demonstrations of God's providence towards us, especially when we are experiencing difficulties.

So how do we do this? This book has challenged me to use my spare minutes profitably. When I'm standing over the hob cooking the dinner, or sitting on the bus, what am I meditating on? Some TV programme I saw last night, or the odd hairdo on the woman further up the bus?

Better that I use this time to think about all the amazing ways that God provides for me. So next time you have a spare minute, think about the wonders of creation, the way we can rely on the sun coming up every day, the way everything is kept going by God's sustaining hand (read Job 37-39 for more ideas). Meditate on the ways in which God has worked and continues to work in your own life:

"I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work and meditate on your mighty deeds." Psalm 77:11&12

"When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him and the son of man that you care for him?" Psalm 8:3&4

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