Note: brief mention of religious self-harm
I have a terror of being late.
It can be annoying, since I’m often late to events. One day, my grandpa was driving me to dance class, and I realized that that day was no exception — I was indeed going to be late.
I sighed to myself… and then thought, You know, what if I pray and see what God does?
Then I scolded myself. Do you really think God would care about a little thing like that? It’s not going to ruin my life if He doesn’t do anything, so why would He bother? He’s not a tame lion, as C. S. Lewis would say.
And then I scolded myself again. Do you really think God doesn’t care about the little things?
I kept going around and around… finally, I just decided to do it: Hi, God, could you please make me not late for dance?
He’s not going to do it, part of my mind scoffed.
We were one traffic light away from dance class when my grandpa glanced at me and said, “Don’t worry, we’re not going to be late. That clock is a few minutes fast.”
I nearly started laughing out loud.
While I could see God working in the previous (albeit silly) example, other times it’s hard to know when and how He’s helping me. How can I trust in something I can’t see? How do I know that God is beside us, every hour of every day?
I’ve always had a hard time with this. I mean, it’s not like you can see Him or touch Him or watch Him make everything work out. I can’t see him galloping over the plains to save me. Though sometimes I feel closer to God through prayer, He often doesn’t answer right away. Which, at times, makes me wonder if He’ll ever answer. God, though, has His own schedule. As C. S. Lewis put it (writing from Aslan, who represents Jesus), “All times are soon to me.”
Despite the difficulty in understanding God’s timing, there are ways you can tell God is working.
God Orchestrates All Things for Good
I’ve heard people say that God “orchestrates” everything for the good. Think of an orchestra conductor. Everyone in the orchestra has an instrument and a part to play, but they don’t know the tempo. That’s where the conductor comes in. He shows everyone the rhythm, keeping everyone’s timing in sync. Though parts of the music may sound minor or sad, the music will resolve itself under the conductor’s experienced hand as He guides and brings them all together.
It’s the same in real life. We live our lives not always doing what we should do, or knowing what God wants us to do. But in the background, God is conducting every instrument to play together. An example is my dance class experience. Through my fear of being late, God made me smile — and more importantly, helped me to trust Him.
God will take everything that happens and transform it into what is best for us. Even in the worst situations, you can be sure – completely, utterly sure – that God knows what He’s doing. The Bible says that He’s all-knowing and all-powerful. If you can’t trust an all-knowing, all-powerful being to know what He’s doing, then I don’t know who you can trust! Take the example of Jesus’s death. For His family and friends, it must have been a terrible experience when He died. Yet His death brought eternal life for everyone. God used the terrible sadness of His crucifixion to bring heaven to all who would believe.
Okay, so you know God is orchestrating the world for the good of all. But how can we see God doing this? He’s not physically here. We can’t point Him out in a crowd: “Oh, look, there’s God!” We can’t always feel Him. Even though we know He’s working behind the scenes, we can’t ever see Him… or can we?
There are miracles.
God Works Through Miracles Big and Small
Some are big, majestic, and spectacular. One of my favorite examples from the Bible is the time when the priests of Baal and Elijah had a showdown. Elijah said that his God was more powerful than Baal. The priests argued that Baal was stronger. So they decided to have a contest: whichever god could set fire to the offering was the more powerful.
First went the priests of Baal. They shouted and danced around and cut themselves with swords for hours – until noon, to be exact. But there was no answer from Baal.
Elijah couldn’t resist teasing the priests. “Don’t worry – maybe Baal is on a journey, or asleep… or going to the bathroom!” I can picture Elijah with a mischievous grin on his face, laughing at the priests.
When Elijah set up his altar, he soaked it in water. More than soaked – he absolutely drenched it in water. Jar after jar of water, so much that it filled a trench around the altar. And guess what? God sent fire from heaven and engulfed the offering, burning up everything.
Even if huge miracles like this don’t happen in your life, you can still see God working through smaller ones, like my driving-to-dance example. God is always working through everything to bring the best of life to you. You might not see it right away — Elijah didn’t know that God would set the altar on fire. But Elijah trusted that God would save the day.
Learning to Trust
We can’t physically see God helping us, but we can see Him work through miracles — big ones or little ones, the supernatural kind or the everyday kind.
God orchestrates everything for the good of all. He loves us, and He knows everything, so you can trust Him to do what’s right for you. We humans need to have someone we can trust in, someone we know will always do what’s best for us. I also like to remember that God has a sense of humor. So when you’re feeling stressed, angry, or just plain afraid, know that God will use the situation to help you. Trust me — you can trust Him!
So when you have a problem, big or small, you can know that help is on the way. God knows what He’s doing; He made the world, for goodness’ sake! If He can’t make everything work out for the good of all, then no one can. God will work through fire, people, wind, or anything else to help his children. And He doesn’t mind making them laugh a little once in a while, too.
Evangelyn is a fifteen-year-old homeschooled bookworm who loves to write. She wants to spread God’s love and joy through her writing, whether it’s an article or a fantasy novel. She loves to spend time outside, with her family, or curled up in a rocking chair with The Chronicles of Narnia books.