When I think about providence, I immediately think about my adult life. As children, our choices are limited and so are the consequences. But as adults, we are given an abundance of choices. What we choose can set our lives on paths with outcomes and consequences we never expected.
In recent months I’ve reflected on my Christian walk. As I look back at many of my life decisions—career, location, family, and relationships—I’ve asked myself, “How did these events affect my relationship with Christ?”
Like the ocean, our lives have high and low tides. At low tide, the ocean is still the ocean, it just lacks power. It rarely changes the seashore around it. For a long time, I was content to attend church and then move on with my week, mentally placing a checkmark on that box until the next Sunday. I wasn’t interested in talking about my faith to many people because it frightened me. That’s the low tide way of living. The shore around me wasn’t changing; I wasn’t making an effort to help those around me find Christ.
But the high tide was ready to come in as I asked myself deep questions about why I believe what I believe. Important choices were all around me, and God was setting those decisions up for me to make.
A Christian brother introduced me to a sister in Christ, and we decided to get married. My wife already attended The Chapel and we decided to make it our church home. The Chapel called Rev. Tim Armstrong to become its senior pastor, and we decided to stay at The Chapel to be taught by him. We decided to become involved in small groups through church, and we’ve been blessed to develop friendships and grow in faith with other families.
Occasional Bible reading became a regular activity as God’s message held a true value to me. Opportunities to give above and beyond through labor and finances were no longer something I dismissed as someone else’s responsibility. Though once I only prayed to God in moments of desperation, I now saw it as a daily means of being in communion with God.
And the scary discipleship part? I even started doing that! Sure, it can still be intimidating, but faith conversations with friends can yield all sorts of results. Some people are saved and some aren’t, but they all need to hear the gospel.
The high tide has changed the seashore in my life and I’m trying to change the seashore in other people’s lives too. We face decisions every day. Most are mundane, but some are life-changing. Whatever the choices before us, God is moving and giving us opportunities to draw closer to him. We must recognize this to grow toward righteousness and his ultimate desires for us.