(Friends: While walking the other day, I dropped the cap of my water bottle after taking a sip. My immediate reaction involved the thought, "Wow, I sure don't feel like bending over to pick that up!" However, as I stooped to retrieve the cap, a thought occurred to me: "Is God involved in something like this?" He is, and this series of messages addresses the Bible's teaching regarding our Lord's loving involvement in our lives.)
"The Bottle Cap"
Part 6 - " All Things. Everything. This Thing"
So, was the Lord involved in the dropping of my bottle cap, a benign occurrence that bore no overtly spiritual or moral significance? He was, but how might He have been present and accounted for in the matter?
First, I do not think it necessary for God to have directly determined the incident in order for it to have been within the scope of His working in my life and the world. It's possible, I suppose, but I don't think it likely that the Lord sent an angel to flick the cap out of my hand and onto the sidewalk. I won't rule out the possibility, but I suspect the cap simply slipped through my fingers due to clumsiness or a lack of concentration (I like to think it was the latter!). My immediate fleshly reaction involved a bit of irritation, as if a random annoyance had occurred. Again, this may have been the case. However, whether the Lord actively caused the cap to leave my hand or not, by the time it did, He was involved. Certainly Romans 8:28 means this if it means anything at all:
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).
In the wonder of His foreknowledge, the Lord knew I would drop the bottle cap. His infinite understanding meant that this seemingly most minor of occurrences has forever been known to Him. As A.W. Tozer beautifully penned, "The flutter of an angel's wing a thousand years hence is as known to God as if it happened in this moment." In His "all things" determination, therefore, the Lord wove meaning and purpose into the event. Moreover, He also got my attention regarding the matter, which led to this series of messages. I could easily have missed His prompting to consider His involvement. I very often do fail to see what our Heavenly Father is up to. In this case, however, my spiritual antennae seemed to be receiving signals from Heaven. The question of whether God was involved, and even more, how He was involved came to mind (which led to enjoyable and illuminating discussion with Frances, a.k.a. "the Brain"). We both concluded that God was indeed present and active in the bottle cap flying from my fingers, and whether He directly determined the incident or not, our calling was to believe that this thing fit into "all things."
As does everything. In a lifetime and eternity wherein we "live and move and have our being" in God, all things somehow coordinate to fulfill "the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Acts 17:28; Ephesians 3:11). This is truth. This is Biblical doctrine. This is reality that must be embraced as a matter of utmost principle and conviction. Do we fully understand such wonder? Not even close! Are we required to fully understand? Not at all. It is more than enough to know that God understands and perfectly weaves the innumerable threads of events in His creation to exalt and reveal the Lord Jesus. I suspect that my Father did not "control" the dropping of the bottle cap. Nor is it necessary that He determined the incident. He did coordinate the matter, synthesizing it into the ultimate fulfillment of His purposes. Such wonder boggles the mind even as it strengthens the heart. Our Lord directly executes "wonders without number" (Job 9:10). However, He possesses such vast wisdom, knowledge, understanding and power that the things that happen apart from His pointed direction will ultimately fit into His plans no less than the things He causes to happen. As Joseph told his brothers regarding their sin and God's working, "But as for you, ye thought evil against me. But God meant it unto good" (Genesis 50:20).
Such blessed truth changes our lives in the first moment we see it into the light of Scripture and by the illumination of the Holy Spirit. It then continues to transform everything as we more and more realize our Father's promise of a life more finely tuned by Him that we can imagine. We will still miss much - so much - of His involvement. But we do not have to miss all. Yes, we can increasingly open the eyes of our hearts to see the love of God present and accounted for in all things. We will trust Him far more as we do, and our hearts will know the peace, joy, and assurance of the Lord Jesus as we seek Him in all things, everything, and this thing. I often think of the prophet's determination to see the glory of such grace, and we close with his affirmation…
"I will look for Him."
"This thing is from Me."
(I Kings 12:24)
Weekly Memory Verse
"The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and godhead" (Romans 1:20).