All that is to say, as Dr. R.C. Sproul so frequently reminded us, that there is not one “maverick molecule” in all creation operating outside the sovereign control and direction of the Lord. There can’t be, for if the tiniest thing were to go astray, the cascading effects could change everything. Ultimately, as Dr. Sproul also reminded us, there is no such thing as chance.
Understanding that there is no such thing as chance should dramatically reframe our view of everyday life. Let’s face it—most of us are not very important people in the eyes of the world. We’ll have a lasting influence on maybe a handful of individuals, and we’ll be quickly forgotten after we die. Because of that, it is too easy to think that our actions do not matter or that God is not all that involved. We might think He is involved in the affairs of world leaders, but certainly He doesn’t pay much attention to the rest of us as we change diapers, try to keep our teenagers out of trouble, work long hours to pay the mortgage, chat with neighbors, struggle to make it to church each week, put our feet up in the evenings, play the same game with our toddler for the umpteenth time, cram for the next exam, and so forth.
The truth of God’s providence tells us otherwise. For one thing, providence means not only that He is governing and directing all things but also that He is sustaining all things. Hebrews 1:3, for instance, reveals that God, through His Son, “upholds the universe by the word of his power.” God not only created all things but He preserves all things (Neh. 9:6). As I have been telling my children recently, if the Lord were to stop sustaining the existence of the world, everything—including us—would immediately vanish into nothingness. At every moment, we are completely dependent on God’s continuing to sustain His creation. The universe does not continue on in its own power.
From the truth of God’s sustaining providence, we may rightly infer that the Lord thinks there is something awfully important about everything in creation, even the things we consider the most mundane. Our Maker is not one to waste His time and energy, as it were, on trivial things. The very fact that He sustains everything, including our ordinary lives and decisions, means there is value to these things. This value, of course, does not come finally from us; rather, the value is found in how God works all things together for our good and His glory, in how He weaves everything together in His sovereign plan (Isa. 43:6–7; Rom. 8:28). As Romans 11:36 expresses it: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
So, God’s governance and sustenance work themselves out in the comparatively little things of life. Our choice to have chicken and not fish for dinner, our selection of flowers to plant in our front yards, our preference for football over baseball, our decision to take the scenic route and not the more direct highway, our request to have the stylist cut half an inch instead of a whole inch off our hair, our opting for our daughters to take ballet lessons instead of soccer—everything is ultimately governed and directed by the Lord and thus has value in His plan. This truth is not meant to paralyze us. We are not going to cause God’s kingdom to go off the rails if we choose chicken over fish. In fact, a decision such as that one, all things being equal, is indifferent. It is neither inherently sinful nor inherently righteous to eat chicken or fish. Nevertheless, the choice we make in even such an apparently insignificant matter has ramifications for the kingdom that we cannot fathom.