A Frothing Providence

I was late for church last week. I’d arranged to return home from my northern trip at 2pm on the Saturday but arrived back 28 hours later. Another kindly covered the pulpit in the morning, and I was back 50 minutes before the beginning of the evening service. The seas between Shetland and Aberdeen were so rough that the Friday night ferry could not run; the next ferry to depart Lerwick was delayed a further three hours docking on account of rough seas by the harbour mouth. Thankfully, I had eaten macaroni cheese the night before, so its texture, appearance and taste would have barely altered in the event of its being summoned.

One wonders why God allowed two gospel ministers to be delayed by rough weather so that their prepared sermons could not be delivered, while others were conscripted to take their place. Yet nothing happens without the permission of a sovereign God who uses inconvenience and circumstances for His own glory and His creatures’ welfare. One day we may learn why such things happen; or, one day, we shall no longer care, simply resigning ourselves to a wise God’s unsearchable counsel.

Deep in unfathomable mines
of never-failing skill;
He treasures up His bright designs,
and works His sov'reign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
the clouds ye so much dread
are big with mercy and shall break
in blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
but trust Him for His grace;
behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
unfolding every hour;
the bud may have a bitter taste,
but sweet will be the flow'r.