God is in control. He will let us do things that are foolish, that are disastrous or destructive—but often He stops us. And sometimes we find it hard to believe that God is involved at all, the way people are acting.
—Charles F. Stanley, “Looking Deeper Into the Will of God”
Have you ever wondered what God has prevented in your life without you knowing? Maybe you had to go back inside for your lunch this morning, and those 60 seconds kept you safe from a car that crashed down the road. Or perhaps a man somewhere just changed his college major from politics to biology to become a research scientist instead of a powerful, corrupt leader. God is in control, and sometimes He stops us, whether we’re aware or not.
There are an infinite number of situations God has actively prevented in the world, and we will never know exactly what hasn’t transpired—but the mystery shouldn’t keep us from thanking Him for it. His sovereign rule is just as present in unmanifested circumstances as manifested ones, and by simply considering—without dwelling too much on the possibilities—what He might have stopped in our lives, we can deepen our gratitude for His loving care and give Him glory. This kind of awareness helps us remember the Lord’s endless power and that we can trust Him.
There are an infinite number of situations God has actively prevented in the world, and we will never know exactly what hasn’t transpired—but the mystery shouldn’t keep us from thanking Him for it.
Consider Paul’s charge to the Thessalonians: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18 NIV, emphasis added). Let’s express our gratitude for circumstances that transpire, even as we ponder which ones could have but didn’t. And perhaps in meditating on His seen and unseen goodness, we’ll gain a greater appreciation of the Lord’s majestic yet personal and loving role in our life.