When I was 16 years old, I had no clue I’d be where I am today in life. The same could be said for when I was 26, 36, and 46 (The same is true for you too). Consider that our lives are a kaleidoscope of inter-related events that together are beautiful to the eye… with each of them lovingly and providentially directed by our God!
If my dad hadn’t left Auburn to attend Howard College… If my mom’s family hadn’t moved from Oneonta to Birmingham… If my parents hadn’t moved from Fort Payne to Birmingham… If I hadn’t decided to play little league football at Wahouma… If my dad hadn’t met a man at work who knew the head football coach at Huffman High School… If I hadn’t met Rhett at USM… If I hadn’t gone to Kings Arrow Ranch… If Pam hadn’t gone to lunch early… If I hadn’t become friends with Ryan… If Pam and I hadn’t joined Lakeside… If I hadn’t gone to the library one day at seminary… If I hadn’t met Randy in New Orleans… If I hadn’t met Gary and he hadn’t taken a vacation in North West Alabama… If I hadn’t met Mark in seminary… IF, IF, IF, IF, IF!
One time I wondered, “What if any one of those things HADN’T happened?” But my brain started overheating… so I laid that one aside!
IF all those things hadn’t happend… and many many more I don’t have time to write, have forgotten, and/or am not aware of… I would not be where I am at this point in my life. And I wouldn’t be loving life and enjoying it so much. And if you’ll think a little, your life is also full of those “IF” statements!
How many of those things was God involved in? From my perspective, ALL OF THEM! Do some of them involve pain, hardship, and difficulty? YES! Did I understand them all at the time… or now? NO! Am I glad they all took place? YES! Without every one of them and God’s providential involvement, I shudder to think of what my life would be like!
Consider… (As you think of your own life experiences):
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.