Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Message: Trusting in God

I have not recently posted on this blog; I have been quite busy dealing with various unpleasant but important affairs.   Throughout however I have grown in my understanding of one key tenet of Christianity: God will provide.  Repeatedly throughout the past year, there have been moments when I have allowed myself the sin of despair; I have slipped into despondancy and in so doing slandered my beloved Creator, who, the Scriptures promise, has given His angels charge over me, to protect me in all my ways, lest I dash my foot against a stone.

Every Christian should reflect on the manifold ways in which God has protected them throughout their life, through the intercession of the saints and the intermediation of His heavenly host of angels.   As an example of God's grace in my own life, one of the best incidents I can think of was on one occasion many years ago, when, in excruciating pain from a toothache, I inadvertently crossed a fully red light, in which traffic was already moving through the intersection in opposition to my vehicle.  A collision nearly resulted, yet through God's providence, I was able to avoid the other traffic, and was further blessed in not being cited by any policeman (I should add that to date; through God's providence, I have never been convicted of any traffic infraction; I am scrupulous about traffic safety, and the error I made on that day, distracted as it were by the explosive pain in my molar, mortified me, and is the only serious operational error I've committed, thanks be to God).

Another occasion comes to mind, also vehicular in nature, where I was struck by a hit and run driver on a freeway.   Though the damage to my car was considerable (a punctured tire, damaged suspension and smashed fender), and although the impact caused me to skid at least two lanes to the left, I miraculously did not hit any other vehicle, and was able to exit the freeway and reach the safety of a supermarket parking lot, from which I called the CHP and roadside assistance, without incident.  Well, without incident on the way there; while in the parking lot, which is in a rather nice area of North Hollywood, actually right across the street from where a friend lived, while I was on the phone with 911, I had the bizarre experience of being propositioned by a prostitute with turquoise hair.  I dispatched her swiftly; The CHP officers on arriving found this to be highly amusing.

These two incidents both occurred several years ago, and both involve extreme incidents that reflect the perils one faces just when driving one's car.  Yet they serve to demonstrate a fundamental point: we can trust God to protect us.  Yet if I had wrecked, in either case, I would still have grounds for trusting in God, because in such a case, it would be because God, in His infinite mercy, would, from my error in the former case, or the error of the other driver in the latter case, cause a greater good, through the operation of the Holy Spirit.

I am not a Calvinist; as an Orthodox, I believe that humans have free will.  However, God, being omniscient, has sure foreknowledge of our actions, and being a merciful God, who loves mankind, orchestrates events to ensure the best possible outcome for His children, that they may prevail in their struggle against the evil one, conquer the passions, and through our cooperation with the economy of salvation facilitated through the atoning sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and the grace of the Holy Spirit, deliver us from evil, that we may draw ever nearer to Him.