God’s Providence

My good friend Heather sent me this story about experiencing the providence of God in her life.

Collins English dictionary defines Providence as:

“Providence is God, or a force which is believed by some people to arrange the things that happen to us” or another dictionary defines it as a manifestation of divine care or direction”

There is a saying in the book, Streams in the Desert:

“Those who watch for the providence of God will never lack the providence of God to watch for “

In other words those who have an expectation of the goodness of God in their lives will see it and recognise His goodness at work.

This is Heather’s story about one of those times when she experienced God’s Providence.

“My husband and I had taken a last minute holiday to Sardinia out of season and we were really looking forward to this break. A 10 day holiday in the sun at a bargain price.

At the airport my husband said he didn’t feel too well. We just thought it was something he’d eaten and so we got on the flight and arrived at the hotel. It was late when we arrived, about midnight. By this time it was becoming apparent that my husband was becoming extremely unwell.

I went down to reception for help but the receptionist spoke only Italian. No other guests were around and I couldn’t find anyone who spoke English. I eventually managed to get the receptionist to understand through a mixture of French/English and sign language that my husband was very ill and needed a doctor.

In what seemed like no time at all 3 medics arrived and started to treat my husband. The strange thing was that I couldn’t take my eyes off them…they were so amazing and extremely handsome. They looked like they should have been actors from a film or TV drama. I almost expected there to be a film crew tagging along behind them. They promptly whisked my husband off to hospital but I had to stay behind and so they left me in the hotel.

I realised I was now alone in a strange country, I didn’t speak the language and with no idea where my husband had been taken and then a massive thunderstorm started, I thought “Where are you God”.

In the morning I wanted to go to the hospital and find out what was happening. Fortunately, the day receptionist spoke a little English and ordered a taxi for me. The hospital was a very large hospital in the suburbs and extremely busy. Thankfully, I managed to find one person to help me..he said “oh the English patient..come with me”. As we got to the fifth floor I was just in time to see my husband being taken down to the theatre for surgery to have his appendix removed. His appendix had burst and that was why he had suddenly become so ill.

There was nothing more I could do until later so I left the hospital and just started walking. I didn’t really know where I was going but eventually managed to find my way back to the hotel. I was thinking “Lord what do I do now? I’m here on a quiet part of the island, no-one seems to speak my language and I’m now on my own. My husband was going to be kept in hospital for the next 4/5 days after the operation and there was very limited visiting hours.

I decided that I would set off for the rest of the day expecting the Lord to be with me and to lead me. As I walked I came to a crossroads where the higher road went along the Promenade and the lower one led to the town. I prayed and felt led to take the higher road. I stopped to look out at the sea and then suddenly out of nowhere it seemed to me, a lady approached me and asked me if I spoke English and if I knew where the town was. She was amazed when I replied in English and we were both as relieved as each other.

I explained my story. This lady said that she had arrived the night before too on an organised trip. That morning she had missed the day trip out and so was left all alone at her hotel. She had decided to go for a walk and then got lost.

We walked to town together and decided to go for coffee. As we talked, we discovered to our amazement that we both came from Portsmouth in England. She was living there and I had been brought up there although was now living in the Midlands. Even more amazing though as I talked about my children, she asked if I had a daughter called “Amy” who worked for one of the TV channels. I did and it turned out that her son Toby worked with my daughter. They were friends in London. We both knew so many places and people in common and it was comforting and reassuring to chat. It felt like we had known each other for years.

I accompanied her back to her hotel and the Holiday Rep for the the tour was relieved to find her ok. My new friend explained my story and the Rep arranged for us both to have dinner at the hotel and for me to stay over. The next day they also arranged a private tour for us all around the island with lunch and dinner all paid for by the tour company.

I spent the remaining days of their tour with her and the tour company also arranged a car to take me to the hospital when I needed to visit my husband. What a blessing.

During our days out my new friend wanted to visit some of the churches on the island. I was able to share my faith in Jesus with her. She left the island the next day to continue her tour and my husband John came out of hospital and we continued our holiday. I never did see that lady again.

God provided me with a companion when I was lonely and blessed me with such favour from the tour company. His providence was certainly at work in my situation. I pray that you also will expect and experience Gods providence and trust Him in your life too.

Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so, some people have entertained angels without knowing it”.

That dear lady may not have been an actual angel but she certainly was an angel to me sent by God at just the right time to help and comfort me.

“Those who watch for the providence of God will never lack the providence of God to watch for “

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8