In recent months, I’ve been thinking about the gracious hand of God’s providence by which He has led me the past 33 years of knowing Christ as Lord and Savior. I marvel that to bring me to where I am in life and ministry today took innumerable blessings, decisions, and experiences—both immensely joyful and heart-wrenchingly painful. Yet, through them all my sovereign Master has dealt well with me, even when at times His chastening hand was felt more acutely than His tender care. And to think that all His dealings with me began not 33 years ago, when my eyes were first opened to the gospel, but almost 53 years ago, when I was born. Indeed His love has reigned over all His gracious ways!
For this reason, I was struck by a testimony from Alec Motyer in his Psalms By the Day. This morning’s meditation was based on Psalm 71, which he entitles “The Life-long God.” Motyer writes:
“How far back in your life can you trace the hand of God? If you have never done this, I venture to think you will be surprised! In my earliest infancy I was left for a weekend with my maternal grandmother—and the weekend stretched out for my first seven years! The direct result of this is that I cannot remember a time when I did not love the Bible as the Word of God. Was this not the hand of God? I could tell you of more ‘coincidences’ (as they are called), and ‘accidents’ (as they seem), and the right person being in the right place at the right time—but I have no doubt your ‘story’ is similar. Consciously or unconscious to us, Yahweh has been our support since our birth (Psalm 71:6); it was he who caused us to be born at the time and place of his choice. Not accident but design, not coincidence but plan, not chance but divine direction—that is the story of every believer, the secret history of every conversion. It is the direct implication of the wondrous title of ‘Sovereign One’ (verses 5, 16), a God who truly is God, who holds in his hand not only the broad sweep of world history, but the tiniest details of personal stories; a God whom no circumstance or adversary—or collection of adversaries—can defeat; present in every place, master of every situation, deciding and controlling at every time. And so it will continue to be as long as earthly life shall last.”