In 2 Corinthians 5:7 we read, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” The Scriptures go on to teach that man is to live his life by faith (Hab 2:4, Rom 1:17, Gal 2:20; 3:11, Heb 10:38) in “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4). This means that we must take every step (so to speak) in faith in God’s Word, interpreting all things in light of the same, and in faith that the government is upon His shoulders. This last point is expanded by the Westminster Confession of Faith in chapter III, Section I:
“God from all eternity did by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin; nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.”
It is this unity of God’s absolute sovereignty and man’s responsibility that was so clearly illustrated to our family just yesterday, not once, but twice.
Let me set the scene for you: We live in very central point of our small town in western Washington, which allows us to walk to various stores and services easily when the weather allows. Yesterday, my wife had an appointment nearby and was walking with our 5-month-old baby in a stroller. As she was waiting for the crosswalk sign to cross one of the main roads in town, she began thinking that perhaps the she and the baby were a bit too close to the edge of the curb in the pedestrian waiting area. So, not thinking much of it, she backed up a couple of feet. It was at that moment that a man on a motor scooter was making a turn, misjudged where the curb was, and was sent flying and rolling across the very point where the stroller had just been sitting. Had she not moved, we certainly would have been facing injuries to the baby if not to Mom as well. My wife was understandably shaken by the incident but immediately recognized the hand of God in protecting them both.
On top of this incident, on the way home and crossing a busier road, she was again waiting for the crosswalk sign. When the signal to cross was given, there was a hesitation before she began to walk at which time an 18-wheeler blew through the intersection. That was startling enough but following behind that truck were several more cars running the light (blatantly), presumably not looking at the light but simply following the vehicle’s action in front of them. Once more, God had protected these daughters of the covenant from danger and my wife saw this through the eyes of faith.
As my wife shared these events with me later, I was struck with the many things: gratitude for God’s protection, amazement at her care for the injured man and readiness to be a witness (thanks to the Institutes of Biblical Law study!), and finally, the unity of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility. So many throughout the ages have sought to have the mind of God in understanding how these two issues are reconciled but the fact is: We are God’s creatures, not God and so we can never reconcile it ourselves. We believe it because God’s Word teaches it and we can trust that whatever God does is right because He is The Right. My wife chose to back up from the curb and she was secondary cause behind the hesitation later. However, God had already ordained from before the foundation of the world that all these things would come to pass and He moved in a mighty way. Truth it is in Proverbs 16:9:
“A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.”
So, coming away from these incidents, what is my encouragement to you? First, rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4). Second, walk in faith every day that God is in total control and be about the business to fulfilling your responsibilities leaving those areas that are outside your control in His omnipotent hands. Finally, look for His actions in your life in every way. Cultivate this mindset and you will sharpen your eyes of faith. Perhaps that person that cut you off in traffic was God’s providence to protect you from a collision. Certainly, when God’s providence is staring you in the face, as it did us yesterday, take the time to recognize that He is at work in your life and give Him the praise He is due.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Rom 8:28