by The Howitzer
Recently I have had a harrowing experience. I had a heart attack. My doctor said beforehand that I was in heart attack alley. 58, overweight, high blood pressure and sedentary. I didn’t even disagree with him. But a heart attack? That seems a far cry from the 17-year-old stud I am in my mind. But it happened. And I am in the middle of regrouping as I am recouping.
As you can guess, I have been reflecting a lot on life these days. A situation like that gets a guy thinking. One of the things I have been thinking about is God’s providence. Providence is a term we use to talk about how God has provided for us. The Calvinist have a term called Meticulous Providence. Those guys are smarter than me so I will borrow their phrase and redefine it with my own thought. I think they are talking about salvific things, but I want to use the term to talk about how God is meticulously involved in our lives. You Calvinist can tell me where I am off in the notes.
Howitzer definition for Meticulous Providence– God sweats the little stuff and provides what we need.
Let me tell you my heart attack story and you tell me if God is involved in the details.
“I have been having chest pains for about a month. My general care doctor was concerned. My Cardiologist was concerned but the symptoms I described were a little confusing, so they were trying to decide how to test me. In the meantime, I was seeing the pain grow and become more frequent. It culminated in an emergency room visit two weeks ago. The blood work showed that there was some heart stuff going on, so they admitted me. My heart doc come in and said they were going to do a heart cath and they just so happened to have an opening in an hour. If you know me, I am the worst patient ever and this stuff stresses me to high heaven. So, an hour notice is just about right in that I do not have time to worry. Within minutes they are wheeling my butt back for what is supposed to be routine ‘procedure’ that will tell us what we need to know. Next thing I know I am waking up back in my room in the heart attack ward.”
“While I was sleeping it seems that God and the doctor had been at work. While they were exploring, I had a heart attack. 100% blockage in my right coronary artery. The cardiologist told my wife that ‘we were in absolute best place when it happened. We were able to treat the heart attack within minutes.’ It seems to me that God was intricately and meticulously involved in my procedure. Great doctors hand in hand with the Great Physicians.”
Luck you may say. I think not. Meticulous Providence.
Let me share a few a few verses that I have been looking at related to the topic.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. 6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
In both cases, we see God intimately involved in His creation.
He feeds birds and will feed us.
He clothes the grass of the fields and will cloth us.
He knows when sparrows fall to the ground and does not forget them.
He numbers the hairs on our heads.
He considers us to be of much worth.
I have a friend who told me a story that he had a medical procedure himself. He was concerned and was hoping for the best in the situation. As he was praying, he was telling the Lord that he was trusting for healing and help in the situation. As he tells the story, “but the Lord rebuked me and said, what if it doesn’t turn out like you want it to. Will you trust me then, too?”
In this case, everything turned my way, and I am overjoyed with the good report. But, what if it didn’t. What if like my friend I experienced the worst-case scenario. Would I still believe in Meticulous Providence? I think so.
I love it that He in intimately involved in our lives. I would not want it any other way. He can be trusted.
He can be trusted in the meticulous details and provides what we need.