There are various components vital to a developing friendship of the soul with God and one of those is to accommodate our selves to His providence. Now ‘providence’ is not a word in common use in the vocabulary of post modern people. Even in the churches it is rarely used. This is a great shame and reveals a profound lack of understanding of who God is and what He does. Providence is a beautiful word, full of comfort. Obviously it is linked with the verb ‘to provide’ and when used in days gone by expressed the benevolent guidance and supply that comes from God. The word assumes at least two things; firstly that God is first cause of all things and secondly that His will and doings are benevolent. It is certain that there are agencies at work in the world seen and unseen which are in themselves malevolent but His purposes through all, even turning things malicious to positive use, is to do us good.
One of the early settlers in Massachusetts, Roger Williams by name, a Baptist minister moved to Rhode Island and established a town which he named ‘Providence’. It was the year 1636 and because of opposition, hardening to persecution taking place in his former home he fled that place seeking to found a colony where religious freedom and love towards the native Indians was the norm. He taught religious toleration and the separation of church and state and named the newly established town Providence because he believed that God had unerringly led him and supplied that particular place in which God could be glorified. He viewed even the oppositions that had pressed him to this move to be part of the loving actions of God in ordering his way.
Earlier I mentioned our need to become those who are accommodating our lives to the providence of God. We should pray for that grace of willingness to yield to His orderings in all things. A cessation of arguing with God in the things He brings our way. To all things there is a season, a time appropriate in God’s economy. The word economy has its root in the idea of ‘household management’. Interesting really, how we need to allow God, the great proprietor of His universe, to manage His house in His way and timings. The seasonal activities of God are set in His creation. If we would live harmoniously with the elements, we must adjust ourselves to those seasons. Do we wear in a Canadian winter what we would in a summer in that same country? To do so would be to court exposure unto death. Do we seek to reap in December rather than in the season of harvest? The wise farmer accommodates all his actions to the rhythms God has set in nature. Thus he makes the seasons his friends and the soil, the rains, the heats and the colds all serve for the bringing forth of a good crop. We must likewise be deeply adjusted to God our Father in His providential orderings of our circumstances and all things. His spiritual blessings are most timely and His rhythms most sweet. There is a massive adjustment for us here. We are raised with the underlying attitude of ‘my will, timing and preferences’ and such causes a deathliness to enter the soul. “I must have it now and I do not want that’ is so common to us. The long reach of living independent of God pursues us yet in our attitudes. It is carnal and affects us more deeply that we understand. We must pray, from our hearts, “Lord, help me to be your friend in accommodating myself gladly to your kind providential dealings.” There will be great results in the soul from such prayer as He answers us with the consolations of His presence and tokens of His loving friendship.