Pristine Grace

A Straight Stick
by Jim Byrd

     As a child, did you ever put a stick into some water and become amazed because it seemed to be bent and then you removed it only to find it straight again? Of course the water did not actually bend the stick. In scientific terms it was due to refraction of light. Your discernment was deceived; no matter what information the eyes sent to the brain, the stick was not altered.

     Isn’t that the way it is with our fleshly observation of the workings of providence? Though God’s chosen, redeemed, regenerated and believing people are assured that “all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28), yet when we look at things through carnal eyes we see crookedness in the events that happen to us. When the flesh observes the “stick in the water,” it sends a disturbing signal to the heart that our life has suddenly become bent out of shape. This was the natural reasoning of Jacob as he viewed some “sticks in the water.” He judged according to the flesh that “all these things are against me” (Genesis 42:36), but he was wrong and so are we when we form an opinion of the dealings of God with us from a carnal viewpoint. Natural understanding is not equipped to correctly judge the mysteries of providence. We must look at all things with the eyes of faith, trusting our Father’s goodness, wisdom and grace. Pay no attention to the information carnal reasoning and perception sends to the mind and heart. Rest assured child of God, there is nothing wrong with the “stick.” No matter how crooked things may appear, every “stick” remains straight. God’s eternal purpose pertaining to each of His blood-washed and righteous people is being carried out by providence with lovingkindness and with exact precision.