On the futileness of trying to understand Providence
“Providence is wonderfully intricate. Ah! You want always to see through Providence, do you not? You never will, I assure you. You have not eyes good enough. You want to see what good that affliction was to you; you must believe it. You want to see how it can bring good to the soul; you may be enabled in a little time, but you cannot see it now; you must believe it. Honor God by trusting Him.” Charles Spurgeon
It seems to me that any discussion of free will and election sort of presupposes what Spurgeon says. When we are in a particular situation we are generally denied the knowing why. Today at noon, I sat down and commiserated with a fellow worker who has a mild cancer. It looks as if surgery will easily cure him, and I pointed out that he would probably be able to walk away from this with a very good remainder of his life. His quick rejoinder was to offer to switch places with me, and he wondered how I would take it. Of course, how I would take it will never be known. I live and walk blindly in the life God has given me with very little perception of what the future will bring-- except that, if Christ does not return, I shall surely die like all of my species. I will have my pain and suffering to live through, and it will either bring me closer to God, or drive me away. Instead of pointing this out to my fellow worker, I did mention my neighbor who at the age of 59 just was diagnosed with lung cancer. He immediately got the point, and agreed that it could be worse.
In my life I have noticed many times that two postulates are possible. The first is that I could have one of the many better lives that I see others having around me. The second postulate is that I could have one of the many worse lives that I see others having around me. But the reality is in neither of the postulates; I have the life that I have and no other. Nor is there any choice about the main events of my life. I shall live a certain while and then I will get sick and die, or I will get in an accident, or etc. None of these facts of my life will I be able to control.
But as a Christian I do have something more. I cannot understand the manner of Providence in my life but I do understand somewhat of the gentleness of the hand of Providence in my life. More simply put, I do not fathom the why me but I do fathom who is allowing it. It is my duty to trust God when events in my life might dictate otherwise. I can choose to let the events of life, good and bad, to drive me closer to Christ. I will not understand the why of much of it; I do understand the duty to trust. As Spurgeon says it more poignantly, Honor God by trusting Him.