The word providence means the foreseeing care and guidance of God or nature over the creatures of the earth. What a comforting thought that is! I was given a really great insight about providence the other day and wanted to pass it along.
During the time of Jesus, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was the chief tax collector in the city of Jericho. Tax collectors at that time had their own category….there were sinners and then, there were tax collectors. Even the sinners didn’t want to be associated with them!! Anyway, one day Jesus came to town and Zacchaeus was too short so he climbed a nearby tree to be able to see Him pass by. When Jesus spotted him in the tree, he told him to come down so that He could stay at Zacchaeus’ house. The crowds were aghast that Jesus would go to such a house to dine and stay. I’m sure that his Disciples were equally horrified. As a result, Zacchaeus gave half of his possessions to the poor and found salvation through Jesus.
I’ve heard this story many times since my childhood. I’ve always thought that the message here was that Jesus was not afraid to associate with the untouchables in order to save the lost. Very important, but here is the part I completely missed in that story….God had to plant that tree….so that….Zacchaeus could climb it. The tree had probably been growing long before his birth. It’s a different perspective, but one so critical for me to recognize. It is the little things that we sometimes overlook in the background of our lives that prove to be so meaningful to our own stories. It’s the stuff that is practically camouflaged in the setting, when I tend to only pay attention to what is happening on my stage. This perspective on the tree caused me to ponder and underscore my belief that God does have a plan for my life, and it is put into action long before I even get there. There is no telling how many metaphorical trees have been planted for me….for us. I still believe that I have choices. Zacchaeus could have chosen not to climb that tree, but it was there for him anyway. But more importantly, I am a part of His plan and His story.
I KNOW that I have a multitude of so that’s in my life that I can see. I am thankful beyond measure for each and every one. Some things, that at the time I thought were terrible, provided me with some of my very best so that’s. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Some things, I thought were my choices that I made selfishly for me, actually placed me in better position to be able to help some one else. I can look back on my life and see a wonderful pattern of so that’s. It’s like a curious time travel scavenger hunt, but an amazing opportunity to magnify my gratitude for the Blessings in my life and my Savior that provided them with foreseeing care and guidance .
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen. ~ Romans 11:36