It’s fun to write about providence when things are good. I have, on more than one occasion waxed eloquent on the subject on this blog. It is a different story however, when a predestined storm blows through and shows no sign of stopping. It would also be nice to report that through it all a general atmosphere of expectation and bemusement has reigned. But since honesty is a command I must confess that the current series of storms has played merry hell with my depression and stress has been a frequent companion. Naturally I would prefer a sooner resolution rather than a later one. All that said I can report so far that God is very good. While things have been bad he has been generous through his people. Where I would prefer to resolution his grace has abounded in stretching my patience. Where I want revenge he has presented justice. Where I want a proper sulk, he has given laughter.
Granted, this is the kind of scenario that could easily spin out into even more chaos, or in the goodness of God it might resolve and I will be where God wants me, for the time being. I frankly don’t know. Maybe I will return to review this period several years removed to the future. What I can say is that God was and is good, and every time he has laid me low he has brought me back better than before.
I am fond of comparing the doctrine of predestination to scotch, typically something old and Isla. And I could probably stretch the metaphor a bit more if your first experience with a whiskey was a bad one and eventually you came around. Unfortunately for me I had good friends who started me with Lagavulin 16 so it was love at first sip. But beer was a different story. When I was eight my father let me have a sip of O’Doul’s (a non alcoholic beer because he was a Southern Baptist Pastor) it was awful. Imagine a Bud Lite and make it worse. Naturally I hated it. Which was his goal. I did’t touch beer again until I was 24. It was an acquired taste. That is Calvinism in the storm, I think, It is good, but you have to acclimate to it, and then it is exquisite.
A final note that is tangentially related. When I am counseling a believer who has doubts one of the assurances I will point to to their sanctification. I have always considered this to be an excellent encouragement. But the other day my wife pointed out how in one of the problems I am working through my sanctification has grown since a similar event occurred when we were dating and I was “panicking.” Perhaps I am also being humbled, being told that was not as encouraging as I would have thought it to be. I tend to view myself as being a fairly even keeled character. One more log to toss on this particular sanctifying bonfire I suppose.