The Unseen Hand

How does God provide for you? Does He send an Angel to knock on your door to provide money when you need it? Or, does Jesus appear at the foot of your bed to give you wise counsel in making a decision about a job, a move, marriage, or any one of numerous difficult circumstances that arise in our lives?

No. Most often He is working behind the scenes through others to direct, guide, encourage or to spare us harm. Consider the following story I found on the internet:

On the front porch of his little country store in Illinois, a small businessman stood with his partner. Business was all gone, and the partner asked, “How much longer can we keep this going?”

The owner answered, “It looks as if our business has just about winked out.” Then he continued, “You know, I wouldn’t mind so much if I could just do what I want to do. I want to study law. I wouldn’t mind so much if we could sell everything we’ve got and pay all our bills and have just enough left over to buy one book–Blackstone’s Commentary on English Law, but I guess I can’t.”

At that moment a strange-looking wagon came up the road. The driver drove it up close to the store porch, then looked at the owner and said, “I’m trying to move my family out west, and I’m out of money. I’ve got a good barrel here that I could sell for fifty cents.”

The businessman’s eyes went along the wagon and came to the wife looking at him pleadingly, her face thin and emaciated. He slipped his hand into his pocket and took out, according to him, “the last fifty cents I had” and said, “I reckon I could use a good barrel.”

All day long the barrel sat on the porch of that store. The partner kept chiding the owner about it. Late in the evening the businessman walked out and looked down into the barrel. He saw something in the bottom of it, papers that he hadn’t noticed before. His long arms went down into the barrel and, as he fumbled around, he hit something solid. He pulled out a book and stood dumbfounded: it was Blackstone’s Commentary on English Law.

That businessman was Abraham Lincoln.

Some would chalk such an event to pure chance. Was it chance or was it divine providence?

Consider Ruth, a Moabite woman, who married a Jewish man, who had moved with his mother to her country because of famine in Judea. He died in Moab and when he did, his mother, Naomi, Ruth’s mother-in-law, decided to return to her home in Judea. She was poor and destitute; yet, Ruth determined to return with her. Once back in Judea, Ruth went to work in a rich man’s field to glean stalks of wheat that the harvesters had left behind for the poor. Who would have guessed that she was working in the field of Naomi’s deceased husband’s wealthy relative—Boaz!

Boaz saw Ruth, they fell in love and married. She became part of the genealogy of Jesus! Was this chance or the unseen of God guiding events?

Then, there was Jewish beauty, Esther, who just “happened” to be chosen to replace the deposed pagan queen of King Xerxes. It was through her intervention before the great King that her people, the Jews, were spared genocide. Again, was it chance or the unseen hand of God guiding events in her life?

St. Paul wrote: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose” (Ro. 9:28).

And, how does God work out “all things” for your good in your life? Mostly through His unseen Hand. He works through people and circumstances to bless and guide you to fulfill His purpose for you.

Some will say you were just lucky. You will say, the unseen Hand of God guides, directs and blesses me.