We don’t talk much about God’s providence until we get into moments in history like this, and then we start becoming more interested in these types of topics. John Frame defines providence as, “God’s works of providence are, his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.” This definition challenges our thoughts while presenting us a great hope for God’s active role through all of life.
Lord over the Natural World
Proverbs 16:33 tells us about a lot being cast, while making it clear that “every decision is from the Lord” proposing a narrative that all things are under God’s control. If anything, we see that God is intensely personal in all of life. He isn’t aloof or distant, He is constantly active and deeply personal with all of His creatures through all things.
Lord over Human History
Joshua 21:44-45 paints a picture that “not one word of God’s has failed” leading us to a deeper understanding that God is not only Lord over the natural world, but also over human history. We’re reminded here of the birds and the flowers of Matthew 6, that is God is in control of every event in nature, how much more would He care for us, His children?
Lord over Individual Human Lives
Jeremiah 1:5 and Psalms 139:13-16 both capture this picture that our Father has knit us together before time and in our mother’s womb... far before any of us could personally engage in our own lives. God
has been doing something miraculous in each of our lives before we existed and He continues that Lordship over our lives all through the lives we now live.
Lord over the Good and the Bad
Lamentations 3:37-38 then challenge us with these words, “Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?”. For some of this, the concept of God being Lord over the good and the bad is uncomfortable. We’re challenged in our thought of His Lordship and what we even mean by His Lordship. All the while, scripture is filled with over 6,000 verses of God’s Lordship over all things as He is in control of, has authority over, and is present in all things.
Present in His Lordship
So what’s the point in all of this? For me, it’s simple. His Lordship and Providence all point to the overwhelming reassurance that He is present with us in and through all things. As each of us navigates COVID-19 with our family, our work, our finances, and every other aspect of life, we can rest assured that He is present with us in all things. He is Lord over the natural world. He is Lord over human history. He is Lord over our personal lives. He is Lord over the good and the bad. And He is present in every aspect of His Lordship.
May we all rest assured that not even the most remote and minor aspect of our current circumstance are out of His control, and rest in His absolute presence in our lives.