Why do we trust God with the cosmos but not with our personal circumstances?

I’m reading Draw the Circle to review for BookSneeze and one of the chapters/devotionals raises the issue of why we have a hard time trusting God with our daily lives: “You tell me which is more difficult – keeping plants in orbit or determining our steps? The truth is that we already trust God for the big things; now we need to trust Him for the little things…” In other words, if we can trust God with holding the cosmos in His hands and maintaining the entire universe, why don’t we really trust Him to be able to take care of us on a personal level?

I think there’s a relatively obvious answer to this question: What happens in the cosmos, like the revolution of the planets, is extremely predictable while what happens in our personal circumstances is often quite unpredictable. You simply never know when someone will get in a car accident, lose their job, develop cancer, or develop an addiction. Daily life is notoriously unpredictable, which is also what makes it so worrisome.
By comparison, the universe continues on like clockwork, with predictable stability.

Or so I thought…

Three events over the past couple weeks made me change my mind a little on that. (1) An asteroid had a near miss with the earth. (2) Coincidentally, on the same day as the asteroid flyby, a meteor exploded in the Earth’s atmosphere over Russia, shattering windows and injuring a more than 1,500 people. (3) I read an article about how the Higgs is apparently just the right size to make the Universe fundamentally unstable. Perhaps the universe is not as predictable or stable as I have been led to believe.

Of course, this could lead a person to worry about everything! That would be a problem.

It would be far better to reason, as Jesus recommends, from small to large. Consider the sparrows (Luke 12:6-7), the ravens (12:24), and the flowers (12:27-28). Each of these is subject to decay and experiences the unpredictability of nature and yet receives the care and provision of God Himself. Since we are more valuable than each of these, we can expect God’s care and provision, even though our lives are also obviously subject to decay, suffering, and tragedy. Despite that reality, we trust that God will bring good out of suffering, even if we can’t see it in the moment.

It also makes sense, as Draw the Circle recommends, to move from large to small. After all, the fact that Jesus sustains the universe by His powerful Word (Hebrews 12:1-4) – and the experiential reality that the universe by and large is stable and predictable, ought to give us hope in God’s masterful design and sustaining power.

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