Monday, November 7, 2011

"Behind a Frowning Providence..."

I began this day with an unwelcome cold shower. This unpleasant cold shower was a kindness of the providence of God. Let me explain. I got into my shower this morning only to realize that there was no hot water. After expediently showering, I went downstairs to light the pilot on our water heater, only to find it would not light. I also noticed that our furnace was clicking and not lighting. It also was apparent that our dryer (gas) was running, but it wasn't warming up. Anyone with a lick of sense will tell you that something was wrong with our house's gas supply, and they would have been right.

Our local gas company came out later in the day and explained that they installed a new meter for us because the old one was not allowing gas to get through. With the new meter installed, the men from the gas company were gracious enough to re-light our pilots for my wife, as I was at work for a few more hours. When the man from the gas company lit the pilot, he also checked for Carbon Monoxide leaks. Low and behold, he found one. Evidently, our house is built in a way that excess CO is vented through an old incinerator flew. However, the CO was not escaping - it was staying in our house. Evidently, birds had made their home in our chimney and had so blocked the opening that no light was even able to get through. The gas company would not turn our gas back on until the obstruction was removed.

Our landlord promptly had the flew cleaned out, our gas was turned back on, and the pilots were lit. Tonight, we have heating and hot water, praise God. What really concerns us is that our house may have been filling with carbon monoxide for quite some time. The gas company told us that we might have all died in our sleep some night because of this leak. If it hadn't been for my cold shower this morning and the discovery of this obstruction which lay at the end of a long chain of complex events, we still could be in serious danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.

What I mean to say is, I thank God for this event which began the day. I was not thanking God for my cold shower at the time, but I have spent the entire evening thanking Him for what I thought was a "frowning providence" on His part. Our lives were literally saved because this gas meter went bad.

It has been a hard week, I won't lie. We had two funerals in one week. We spent an entire week separated as a family because of one of the funerals. Work has been exhausting. Responsibilities keep piling on. I woke up this morning with a freezing cold shower.

In all of this, I am reminded of brother Cowper's words:
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.
Much of the time, we don't have the pleasure of seeing God's smiling face in the immediacy of our pain or apparent "frowning providences." It is in the times when we can't see God's smiling face when we glorify Him by trusting Him anyway that He is good, and that He does good, and that He will not allow His saints to endure anything which is not for their eternal good. We do Him no honor by claiming that the things which happen to us are not His will and that they are not sent by Him. In so doing, we lose God's entire purpose in our pain. In fact, by denigrating God's sovereignty in our pain, we make it impossible for God to have a purpose in our darkest hours. These two claims together are our anchor: (1) God rules even my pain, and (2) He is absolutely good and always does what it right. Remove one and He is a despot. Remove the other, and he is a well-intentioned weakling.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Before posting please read our Comment Policy here.

Think hard about this: the world is watching!