Do you ever wonder if God is paying attention? If he really knows what he’s doing?

Maybe I’m just a little thicker than most (insert joke here), but even though I can look at heaps of past events and see where God orchestrated so many things to bring about a better result than I could ever come up with, I still feel like I know best.

I guess that’s why so many of my prayers are basically me trying to get God to see things my way.

“God, if you would just bless these plans…”

“God, if you would simply open this door…”

“God, I’ve got it all figured out!”

Heavy sigh.

This week, God reminded me that he absolutely knows what he’s doing. Even when it doesn’t look like it from the beginning.

To fully grasp what I now see as God’s hand of mercy and kindness, we need to rewind a few weeks.

There is a public speaking conference that I coach at twice a year. (It is actually happening as I type this.) I have been coaching there for more than a decade. It is truly one of my favorite events of every year. Aside from working with the students, those of us on staff can’t wait to spend a few days hanging out, catching up, and laughing (a lot!) together.

For the last few years, it has sold out every time. Because of this, we coaches put the dates on our calendar as soon as they are announced – knowing that we will be going.

A few weeks ago, several of us got an email that said, We don’t know what’s going on, but registrations are down and we won’t be able to use all of you as coaches for this fall’s conference.” I cancelled my plane ticket. And I was bummed.

Here’s where it starts to get interesting.

Not more than a day or two after this, Kari and I were looking at our upcoming family calendar. With a trip last week, and another next week, we realized that I would have only been home for three nights on one side of the conference and six on the other side.

We also realized that the entire time I would have been gone was “conference week” for our school district. With my kids’ conferences – and Kari having 15 conferences of her own as a kindergarten teacher – we would have had to do a ton of juggling.

Also, and I know this seems like a small thing, but both of my assistant coaches couldn’t make soccer practice last night and I ran the practice alone. We have three games left before the playoffs and canceling wouldn’t have been a good idea. On top of all this, my son has been home with a nasty cold.

Bottom line: It is really good that I am home.

However, an even clearer sign of God’s providence happened to two other coaches. As a few of us were commiserating on Facebook, the husband of a couple who both coach at the conference posted this: “We were wondering why we weren’t at the conference this fall and now we know why…If you all would keep [my wife] in your prayers this week as her stepdad died this morning. They were neighbors her entire life and he married [my wife’s] mom nearly 20 years ago. God’s Providence is amazing!”

The rest of the comments have all been prayers, Scripture, and words of encouragement. I think we’re even closer now than ever before.

Yes. God knows exactly what he’s doing.

Next time you’re wondering if God is paying attention and cares about the details, I encourage you to read Psalm 139. Here are just a few excerpts:

  • “O Lord, you have searched me and known me!”(v 1)
  • “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar.”(v 2)
  • “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me…”(v 6)
  • “…your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”(v10)
  • “…you knit me together…”(v 13)
  • “…all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”(v 16)

He knows. He cares. He is with us and for us. He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)

Now,to remember that today – and every day.

Read an earlier post by Keith here.