I have been thinking a lot about my last post. Bruce Wilkerson, by all accounts, is going through a deep dry spell, not having God bless his efforts in Africa, at least in the anticipated way. During much of his ministry he has seen the Holy Spirit move mightily in changing lives and bringing marvelous changes. How can that compare to the Providence of God? This reflecting turned inward as I contemplate the way God has deigned to work in lives around me. I support a missionary in the darkest Africa, who is serving a mostly willful and disobedient people, unwilling to come to the Light. She does see some response, but the work seems to be all uphill. What a marvelously hard work she has been called to!
But we see some missionaries who are called to great harvests. I recently read a biography on George Whitefield, and a fine work it is. As I read the book I realized that I may owe my very own salvation to the work that God did with early Americans through George some 200 years ago. What a marvelous thing the work of the Spirit is such that “no man knoweth whence it cometh and whither it goeth.” My question is why is it that some are called in the Providence of God to relatively lackluster ministries, while others shine like a city on a hill?
In my own life my wife and I saw in an all-too-brief-time a couple of hundred people come to salvation through Jesus Christ. Yet I am 53 years old now, and many of those years of my life have been bereft of much fruit. Why is it that God worked so wonderfully those first years, and not as much later on?
An introspective soul might blame himself; on many occasions I have certainly done that. But when my life is carefully self-examined before God, I am left only with the Providence of God. Why is the Providence of God thus? Why is it not something else which I would prefer?
I think the last question has to do finding the key to my question. If God’s Providence were what I wanted it to be it would not be God’s at all—it would be my providence. I may not be sure of much in this twisty turning wicked world, but at least I am sure of this: the world is a better place for it not being my Providence. And that is perhaps the only answer we get when we ask God why. It is his immutable sovereign purpose that is working its way out, whether we will or no, and it is in that knowledge we find our refuge. Even so, come Lord Jesus.