Apples of Gold
Radio Script for March 30, 2009
“Bullets Through My Coat”
Hello, I’m Doug Apple…with Apples of Gold.
“I had four bullets through my coat…” he wrote in a letter to his brother Jack.
“…and two horses shot under me, and yet escaped unhurt.”
This letter was written by a young soldier named George Washington.
It was reported that Washington was killed in battle, so he wrote his brother to tell him otherwise. And listen to what he said.
“I take this early opportunity…of assuring you that I now exist and appear in the land of the living by the miraculous care of Providence, that protected me beyond all human expectation…”
Now Washington was a realist and a logical thinker. But there were many times in his life when he saw things happen that defied logic. And that’s when he pulled out this word: Providence.
You can read all about it in a book by Michael and Jana Novak entitled “Washington’s God.”
The word Providence shows up a lot at the time of the founding fathers. And it’s not exactly a bold, Christian word. It lacks the clarity of, say, “Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” It’s not as personal as something like, “Abba, Father.”
But it’s a recognition that there is a spiritual force, a guiding hand that gets involved in the affairs of men.
The Hand of Providence.
Last night I was reading “War and Peace” by Tolstoy (I’m on year four of a five-year plan), and I came across this sentence. One of the characters in the story begins to reflect on all the various events that have led up to this point in her life, and it comes down to this thought: “And in all this Princess Marya saw the hand of Providence.”
Yesterday I was on the phone with an old friend, and we were talking about my family’s move to Florida, and especially it’s affect on our children. My son is getting married in June to someone whom, if we hadn’t moved, he never would have met.
Of course we didn’t know specifically what the future held when we moved, but I distinctly felt the Hand of Providence guiding us to make the move.
I understand what the princess in War and Peace was feeling. I can relate to George Washington as I look back over my life and see how things have gone. Sometimes I just shake my head and say, “The Hand of Providence.”
Years ago Michael W. Smith recorded a song with these lyrics:
“Oh the Hand of Providence,
Is guiding us through choices that we make.
Oh the Hand of Providence,
Is reaching out to help us on our way.”
Saturday I went to an outreach down on Orange Avenue. A former policeman shared how he ended up unjustly receiving a long prison sentence. Some people lied about him to put him behind bars. But he kept his faith, he said. He was even leading Bible studies there in prison.
And then things started happening. The men who lied about him started coming forward and changing their stories. And before long he was released. Things did not go the way they normally go. He saw a hand moving behind the scenes on his behalf.
The Hand of Providence.
As Christians, we know this is the hand of the Lord.
Ezra 8:22 says, “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to Him…”
Ezra should know. He saw that hand turn the heart of the king of Babylon. Ezra 7:6 says, “The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him.”
Nehemiah saw the same thing. In Nehemiah 2:8 he said, “And because the gracious hand of my God was upon me, the king granted my requests.”
Just as George Washington saw that hand protecting him, so did Ezra. Ezra 8:31 says, “The hand of our God was on us, and He protected us from enemies and bandits along the way.”
Ezekiel calls it, “The hand of the Lord,” and “the strong hand of the Lord,” and “the hand of the Sovereign Lord.”
Joshua 4:24 says, “…the hand of the Lord is powerful…”
Hebrews 10:31 mentions, “…the hands of the living God.”
The early church saw that “The Lord’s hand was with them…”
And First Peter 5:6 gives us this advice – to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand.
See, sometimes we are under the illusion that we are in control, and pride can set in.
But what happens when you suddenly look down and see four bullet holes in your coat?
That, my friend, is when you get off your high horse, bow your head, and humble yourself under God’s mighty hand – the Hand of Providence.
E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
May God bless you today! With Apples of Gold…I’m Doug Apple.
© 2009 The Arrow’s Tip
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(Proverbs 25:11 – “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”)
Why “The Arrow’s Tip”? Each morning, after diligently seeking the Lord, I write Apples of Gold. Then before I release it to the public I pray one final prayer, “Lord, send forth your arrows.” I envision Apples of Gold as arrows, tips dipped in the river of the water of life that flows from the throne of God (Rev. 22:1), sailing toward the hearts and minds of men and women around the world.
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