I’m sermonating right now for the evening service. I’m pondering the great cosmic thought from Lord’s Day 10 of the Heidelberg Catechism. The question: What do you understand about the providence of God.
The answer: The almighty and ever present power of God by which God upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth and all creatures,and so rules them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty—all things, in fact, come to us not by chance but by his fatherly hand.
Duuuuuuude…that’s frakin’ deep isn’t it?
When I think about the providence of God, I think about what God isn’t. That’s a weird way to begin but to tell the truth, this answer says it all about who God isn’t.
God isn’t like some giant toy maker or watch maker who made everything and just sat back and watches it works. No. He’s more than that. He’s a God who upholds all of creation (and I say creation, not nature because, well, He created it…uhm… yeah, maybe that’s for a different blog post I guess). He’s active. He’s here. He’s with us.
And God isn’t just part of nature. I love Star Wars. And in Star Wars, you have the Force. The all encompassing midichlorian activated Force. Yet the Force isn’t like God at all. The Force is just part of the universe, it moves in the universe but it can also be moved.
God’s not like that. He can’t be moved. The Force you can call forth your lightsaber and cut off a wampa’s arm. Not so with God. You can’t tell him what to do at all.
Now that being said, I’ve probably freaked out some people right now (or either that or bored them…sorry). God isn’t all controlling puppet master either. He’s a God that leads us and directs us but he also gives us our own free will. And that within itself is a whole brain buster right there.
Did Luke have free will or was he truly moved and forced to battle the Emperor. Or was it the Force that made Darth Vader throw the emperor over the railing (he screams “noooooooo” on the blu-ray when he does it). Was it the Force or free will that made Hahn Solo join the Rebel Alliance. (Okay, so you have to know something about Star Wars here don’t’cha…sorry…my suggestion is to stop, watch the movies and then come back again).
God on the other hand does something different. He moves in our lives, giving us what we need to make the decisions that follow His will. The problem is that he also allows us to make mistakes. He allows us to do dumb things. Why? Because, you wouldn’t know He is God if he didn’t give you free will to do something dumb.
But God is also active as well. Sometimes we yell out “Where are you God!” in times of pain and struggle. God is right there, grieving with you that someone’s sinful stupid mistake affected you so. His heart breaks with yours. But he also is active in bringing you through those times of pain.
And Pain hurts. It does. Why does it happen? To tell the truth, I can give you all the theological mumbojumbo and pat answers till I’m blue in the face but it won’t amount to a hill o’ beans if I do. Pat answers are only true in the future.
Take this with if you will. The Force is just that, but God is more. He is real and personal. He is with you always even to the ends of the age. Take that Force, all you can do is go to the edge of the galaxy. Vector Prime got’s nothing on God.