"The Lord was really lookin' out for me." That was my comment, made to a fairly new friend the other day as we visited over a cup of coffee, about a recent good turn of events. Bill, who isn't a practicing Christian, has heard me make similar observations about God's providence a number of times in the months I had known him. Maybe like you, I've made this particular one often in my life as a dependent child of God.
Thinking about it later, I began to wonder if my remark made Bill question the depth of my faith in God's beneficial care in my life. Did it suggest to him that the Lord might not be faithful in his watching over his children?
Furthermore, what IS my faith in the trustworthiness of God? When things seemingly take a "wrong turn" in my life, does it mean God has forsaken me? Now, I'm not going to try to mislead you and say that such thoughts have never crossed my mind. Sometimes we can move from a sense of insecurity about our own imperfections to one of uncertainty about God's faithfulness. Does God really care enough about someone like me...a sinner...to watch over me ALL the time? As the old song by Frank E. Graeff asks, "Does Jesus care?"
When thoughts like these come - and they do to many - we need to recall his promises, such as "I will never leave you nor forsake you," (Joshua 1:5), and take comfort in his words to Paul - "My grace is sufficient for you." (2 Cor. 12:9) God cares no less for me than he did his apostles, to whom he promised his abiding presence: "...surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matt. 28:20) Graeff's hymnal refrain answers his question: "O, yes, He cares, I know He cares...." (1901. Music by J. Lincoln Hall) Our confidence should be based, not on "blind faith," but on the consistent faithfulness of God, and his promise, in the words of the apostle to the Gentiles, that "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)
Someone unknown to me said this about it: "I believe in the sun even if it isn't shining. I believe in love even when I am alone. I believe in God even when He is silent."
I doubt Bill thought I was suggesting God was looking out for me that time, just because things went well. I don't know what he would have thought if the "end of the story" had been different. But I want to demonstrate by my words and my actions a confidence in the Lord that isn't dependent on the outcome of my daily fortunes in this life, but in the outcome of the life of the One who gave himself for my eternal good.