The Butterfly Effect
Twilight would never have happened without 9/11.
Woah, let’s rewind here. These are two completely separate events, independent of each other… right? After witnessing the 9/11 attack in NY, singer Gerard Way was inspired to start the rock band My Chemical Romance. Their music inspired the publication of a romance novel which in turn inspired Stephanie Meyer to write a fanfiction novel which was later named ‘Twilight’. Now, once dissected into parts, each inspirational event does not seem so odd or far reaching but no one could have predicted that such a traumatising event could eventually be the reason that 13yo girls around the world would be drooling over a sparkling vampire.
Now it’s not to say that terrible things must happen for something else to come into being but it is one way that God directs our lives. Oftentimes, when we are exposed to the atrocities of the world, we forget that it all happens within the sovereignty of God and we tend to get lost in the microcosms of our own problems to see the plans that have been set into motion for us.
The Insignificant Sparrow
According to the WorldOMeter, the population of the world has recently reached 8 billion people. To put it into perspective, amidst the vast expanse of the universe, our planet is only a very, very … very small piece of a puzzle and so it often becomes difficult to believe that each and every one of those 8 billion people may hold enough significance to be a part of something larger. It is only through understanding the power of God’s providence that we can fully comprehend the care and attention that He gives to each and every one of us. But how is it possible that such a large and everlasting God finds the time to devote himself to all of us?
Luke 12:6 emphasises God’s devotion to the least of His creation and so reminds Christians of our value before Him, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God … don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” As teenagers, it is fair to say that we are notorious for being quick to diminish our own value. To put ourselves on the sidelines because what help could we possibly be? But the Word reveals the significance of each and every one of us in His providence. R.C Sproul explains providence as “everything happening for a reason, both the big things and the small things, both good and evil.”
But even as He plans all things, good and bad, how does this manifest in my life? It’s not likely that we’ll take part in a world altering event or replicate the success of a certain vampire saga. God’s plan extends further than the media-worthy happenings of the world as His providence works in every aspect of our lives. Matthew 10:29, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care,” stresses how not even a sparrow could fail unless God allows it. Are our daily lives not worth more than the flight of a sparrow? Let this be a reminder that not a single one of us could fail or even let alone succeed outside of God’s providence.
We know Providence is God’s sovereignty and plan in which he uses to shape our future, but it’s also a paradox in that providence gift that can only be seen backwards. As Christians we know that God is shaping our paths and that through good things and bad, small and big, that his plan is working. But, it’s also hard to trust and obey His plan when we can’t see fully what he has in store until we experience it till the end, and it’s what makes it so hard to believe because although we know something is happening, we don’t know what it is and what the outcome will be. Although, through scripture we know he is faithful as he reassures, “God has a purpose and plan for you. His plans are sure, true, and faithful.” (Jeremiah 29:4-14).
God works out all things, not just some things, but all according to the counsel of His will, revealing that God has a plan and a purpose for the world and governs history such that everything from the least to the greatest contributes to the achievement of that plan and purpose. So there is no such thing as chance. It can only be providence, something we cannot see but only experience it. So keep your trust in him and obey, and know that God is sovereign over all things, that even a sparrow cannot fall to the ground unless he wills it.