Coincidence? I think not.

I remember sitting at my kitchen table doing homework.  I was sitting in the seat nearest to the backyard facing our front door.  I was in sixth grade and my parents were out of town so my Aunt Teresa was watching us.  Although I remember the moment clear, the conversation seems to be a bit foggy.  With the exception of one part.  We were talking about something, to which I replied, "that's lucky." Teresa responded, "No, it's providential."  
That was the first time I was introduced to the idea of providence: the idea, as Merriam-Webster describes, that God is the "power sustaining and guiding human destiny."  That moment, giving me a clear understanding of the workings of my Lord, changed my faith dramatically.  I began to understand that everything that happened, from the big scary things in life to the trivial joys, happened for a reason.  Imagine the peace that comes along with that! Nate pointed out to me recently that oftentimes when something unfortunate happens my reaction is, "Well, that's life."  Yes, I will whine about it for a bit, but in the end I know it is what it is and there's nothing I can do to change it.  It's life; it happened that way because it is part of the bigger puzzle.  Who am I to challenge God's will?  God's will is perfect and inevitable. 

This leads me to share my excitement for the Esther Bible study I am doing with the women's ministry at Evergreen.  It is Beth Moore's most recent study.  I have always loved Esther, mostly because she's a woman and God used her in powerful ways.  The book has also always intrigued me since I heard, or read rather, Chuck Swindoll mention that Esther is the only book in the Bible that does not mention God's name.  Why would it be in the Canon then?  Beth Moore argued that God ordained it to be included in His book because although he works in big miraculous ways (such as parting the Red Sea), he also works in ways that seem to be just ordinary life.  She shared the quote, "Coincidences are miracles where God decides to remain anonymous."  Going into this study I had no idea it would deal with providence.  I am so excited for it!

As I study the book of Esther over the next 9 weeks, I may get very excited.  I will most likely pass on what I learn.  Just a warning.

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