You know, Rhode Island? Who here knows the capitol. . . come on y'all, I know it's a tiny New England state, but you can do it. . . . . . .
The capitol of Rhode Island is Providence, named by Roger Williams in honor of God's merciful providence in leading him to that area. Now, I grew up next door, in Connecticut, visiting Rhode Island beaches, sailing the waters in and around Rhode Island, and never once in all my
For those of you who are not history buffs, here are a few references to Providence in some of our nation's founding documents:
"And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor." ~ Declaration of Independence, 1776
"For as much as it hath pleased Almighty God by the wise disposition of his divine providence so to order and dispose of things that we the Inhabitants and Residents of Windsor, Hartford and Wethersfield are now cohabiting and dwelling in and upon the River of Connectecotte . . . . " ~Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, 1639And a definition from John Edwards (Sermon 67) that I especially like:
"The doctrine of divine providence has been received by wise men in all ages. It was believed by many of the eminent Heathens, not only philosophers, but orators and poets. Innumerable are the testimonies concerning it which are scattered up and down in their writings; agreeable to that well-knowing saying in Cicero, Deorum moderamine cuncta geri: 'That all things, all events in this world, are under the management of God.' We might bring a cloud of witnesses to confirm this, were any so hardy as to deny it."Roger Williams recognized God's providence in his life.
Do I? In this most peculiar season of my life, when all around me is uncertainty, and Satan tempts me to despair. . . . . . . Do I?
Sometimes it's obvious. Sometimes it looks like a friend, dropping off "something extra" she added on to her Costco trip.
Or obvious like a phone call from "out of the blue", offering me a job playing my bassoon. . . . .
But other times it's not so easy. When God's providence appears to be hidden behind job loss, rejection, terminal illness, troubled relationships, or unanswered questions.
But it's at those times - those desperate, struggling, wilderness times - the times that I want to fall at the feet of my Savior and say, "WHY. . . . . .?"
That I must learn to rest in Who He is. And exactly what He accomplished when He walked a life of perfect obedience to His Father, that I may have the blackness of my sin forgiven and find myself alive in Him. When my eyes are on Jesus, His wonderful love, His matchless grace. . . . . then I can trust. Then I can quiet my soul in the bosom of the One who will never leave me nor forsake me.
And it is then that I can, indeed -
Find Providence. And rejoice.