Providence and Time

Great peace have they which love Thy law.
~Psalm 119:165

Recently, I have been noticing that it is easier sometimes to pray for others than for myself, to encourage them in their road, to try to help hold up their arms when their battles falter, to see the ring of chariots of fire for them when their eyes are dim with sadness or despair, to believe in the blessings that lie in store for them. In this process, an unexpected blessing has occurred; I can see more hope in my own spiritual battles as I see that my life is the same in the Lord’s eyes as the lives of those I love. It is full of endless opportunities from the Lord each new moment, guided unerringly by the untiring Providence that does not need to be seen to be real and unending.

These are all things I FEEL strongly and KNOW to be true for my friends, and through seeing these, I have to begin to acknowledge MEDIATELY that these are true for my life, too, even if I cannot feel that easily. Hearing of their worries, and feeling hope for them has helped me see, that when I allow despair or impatience in, what I am really doing, is not only not trusting the Lord’s Providence, but is taking on myself the responsibility for timing and success of events and victories that belong to Him.

I pray that over my life, I will learn to trust the Lord to the point that I will be in a state of peace more often; the ‘Great peace’ mentioned in the Psalms. This Peace comes from loving (following, trusting) the Lord’s laws…including the laws of Divine Providence. It is hard to imagine consistently feeling and acting the way the Arcana number describes those who trust in Providence feel and act: but it can happen, the Lord has told us that.

‘For I know the thoughts that I think upon you, says Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

I recently attended a wonderful doctrinal class on Time: Time from the Lord’s perspective, from our perspective, and what the Lord says about time. Below, is a passage from the readings for that class. I have emphasized (in bold) portions that really struck me.

The last part is particularly striking; are there times when I am ‘scarcely willing to hear Providence mentioned’ because I feel outside of it? OUTSIDE?! I would probably scoff at a friend saying that about himself or herself, and my indignant reaction when I hear this kind of thought from another helps me see the asinine dialogue of the hells within my own life in higher relief. Maybe it is kind of like a version of the Golden Rule; we can begin to apply to ourselves some of those truths, and potential spiritual victories and blessings that we can easily see apply to those we love?

From Arcana Coelestia 8478:

‘Let no one make a residue of it till the morning. That this signifies that they should not be solicitous about acquiring it from themselves, is evident from the fact that the manna was to be given every morning, and that worms would be bred in that which was left over, by which is signified that the Lord daily provides necessaries, and that therefore they ought not to be solicitous about acquiring them from themselves. This also is meant by the “daily bread” in the Lord’s Prayer, and likewise by the Lord’s words in Matthew: Be not solicitous for your soul, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on; why are ye solicitous about things to put on? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: therefore be ye not solicitous, saying, What shall we eat? and what shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the nations seek; doth not your Heavenly Father know that ye have need of all these things? Seek ye first the kingdom of the heavens, and His righteousness; then shall all these things be added to you; therefore be ye not solicitous for the morrow, for the morrow will take care of the things of itself (6:25, 28, 31-34). In like manner in Luke 12:11, 12, 22-31.

[2] As in this and the following verses in the internal sense care for the morrow is treated of, and as this care is not only forbidden, but is also condemned (that it is forbidden is signified by that they were not to make a residue of the manna till the morning, and that it is condemned is signified by that the worm was bred in the residue, and it stank), he who looks at the subject no deeper than from the sense of the letter may believe that all care for the morrow is to be cast aside, and thus that the necessaries of life are to be awaited daily from heaven; but he who looks at the subject deeper than from the letter, as for instance he who looks at it from the internal sense, is able to know what is meant by “care for the morrow.”

It does not mean the care of procuring for oneself food and raiment, and even resources for the time to come; for it is not contrary to order for anyone to be provident for himself and his own.

But those have care for the morrow who are not content with their lot; who do not trust in the Divine, but in themselves; and who have regard for only worldly and earthly things, and not for heavenly things. With such there universally reigns solicitude about things to come, and a desire to possess all things and to dominate over all, which is kindled and grows according to the additions thus made, and finally does so beyond all measure. They grieve if they do not obtain the objects of their desire, and feel anguish at the loss of them; and they have no consolation, because of the anger they feel against the Divine, which they reject together with everything of faith, and curse themselves. Such are they who have care for the morrow.

[3] Very different is the case with those who trust in the Divine. These, notwithstanding they have care for the morrow, still have it not, because they do not think of the morrow with solicitude, still less with anxiety. Unruffled is their spirit whether they obtain the objects of their desire, or not; and they do not grieve over the loss of them, being content with their lot. If they become rich, they do not set their hearts on riches; if they are raised to honors, they do not regard themselves as more worthy than others; if they become poor, they are not made sad; if their circumstances are mean, they are not dejected. They know that for those who trust in the Divine all things advance toward a happy state to eternity, and that whatever befalls them in time is still conducive thereto.

[4] Be it known that the Divine Providence is universal, that is, in things the most minute; and that they who are in the stream of Providence are all the time carried along toward everything that is happy, whatever may be the appearance of the means; and that those are in the stream of Providence who put their trust in the Divine and attribute all things to Him; and that those are not in the stream of Providence who trust in themselves alone and attribute all things to themselves, because they are in the opposite, for they take away providence from the Divine, and claim it for themselves. Be it known also that insofar as anyone is in the stream of Providence, so far he is in a state of peace; also that insofar as anyone is in a state of peace from the good of faith, so far he is in the Divine Providence. These alone know and believe that the Divine Providence of the Lord is in everything both in general and in particular, nay, is in the most minute things of all (as may be seen shown above, n. 1919, 4329, 5122, 5894, 6058, 6481-6486, 6490, 7004, 7007), and that the Divine Providence regards what is eternal (n. 6491).

[5] But they who are in the opposite are scarcely willing to hear Providence mentioned, for they ascribe everything to their own sagacity; and what they do not ascribe to this they ascribe to fortune or chance; some to fate, which they do not educe from the Divine, but from nature. They call those simple who do not attribute all things to themselves or to nature. From all this again it can be seen what is the quality of those who have care for the morrow, and what the quality of those who have no care for the morrow. ~Arcana Coelestia 8478

Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
~Isaiah 40

About Annina

Raised in Kempton, PA, and still considers it home. Annina is a designer, artist, entrepreneur, and teacher. She is also a sister, daughter, friend, aunt, niece, cousin, and granddaughter who is grateful for her large, loving family, and her upbringing in the New Church. She finds great strength in the doctrines for the New Church, especially those regarding the beautiful, unique, and complimentary qualities of men and women, those that teach about who the Lord is (an all-powerful, never angry, constantly loving, and ever-knowing God), and the merciful and hopeful gift that is the steps of repentance. Annina finds the idea of spiritual Correspondences fascinating, and tries to use what she has learned about them in her design work.

3 thoughts on “Providence and Time

  1. ….It can be *so* much easier to know what’s right & true for others, than for ourselves, can’t it?! It’s a strange beast, that ‘self’ stuff. Thanks for these thoughts & insights, Annina!

  2. I have been finding this especially when discouraged about things not changing in my own life (things I have absolutely no control over, like having my own family, or things that are slow to change like repentance on recurring sins). When a friend grieves about that sort of thing, I have such abiding and immediate hope for her.

    Which reminds me to have hope and trust in the Lord for not just my friends, but also for my own life, because I, too, am someone the Lord created. (?!)

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