Have you ever stopped to recognise God’s providence in your life? We can easily overlook it in the everyday hustle and bustle of life. But when we think about it, we can see God’s hand at work in the little things, like providing food on the table, or in the big things, like providing a way out when we mess up or feel trapped.
Let me tell you a story from a few years back. My daughter and I had big plans to spend Christmas with my sisters in America. We were all set to leave on December 18th. As I left work that evening to head home and get ready to go to the airport, I suddenly realised that by the time our flight was to leave at 12:05am, the date would have changed to December 19th. We’d already missed our flight! Panic set in, and I frantically called the airline, hoping to find a way to still make it to Korea, where we had a connecting flight. But the news wasn’t good; they had cancelled both our connecting and return flights because we were marked as ‘no shows.’ Sadly, buying new tickets was out of our budget.
The roller-coaster of emotions was real – I felt disappointed, sad, and foolish. How could I let this happen? But, knowing Jesus is sovereign, I also knew I could trust him in this situation. My husband and I talked with our daughter about God being in control, and we prayed together, asking God to help us trust him despite the disappointment. I also updated a few close friends who knew about our trip.
Instead of visiting with my sisters the next day, my daughter and I went out for a lovely tea to help soothe our disappointment. I still remember feeling this heavy sinking feeling in my stomach until a close friend called to ask if flight tickets were still available. I couldn’t quite grasp the question at first. “What do you mean?” I asked. She and her husband felt the Lord had asked them to buy us new tickets. We were speechless. Entirely and utterly bowled over. We were starting to make peace with the fact that we would no longer spend Christmas with family, and now this? What? We didn’t deserve this!
It felt like God was giving us a choice: we could either accept this “free and undeserved” gift or turn it down.
At first, our daughter was unsure, confused and scared. As we listened to her concerns, we could explain that this gift was God showing us his providence through this act of grace given by our friends. Yes, we made a mistake and missed our flight, but God wasn’t scolding or judging us but providing a way for us to go even though we hadn’t earned it, nor could we repay it.
This experience showed us God’s providence in action through our friends’ kind generosity, allowing us to spend Christmas with family. We see God’s providence throughout the Bible, but our own experience reminded us of the verse from John 3:16: ” For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, he made a way for us to be forgiven and for our broken relationship with God to be restored. Through God’s divine providence, he provides the ultimate gift of grace for all of us, but the choice is ours whether or not to accept it.