Blindness to Kindness image

Blindness to Kindness

If there is a storm at sea and an ocean liner is sunk, or if a hazardous weather condition brings down a commercial airliner and lives are lost, there is often an outcry—both publicly and in the personal grief of family members—about the failure of God to prevent this disaster (“Where was God?”) Intense grief is real and painful and understandable from all who experience loss in these disasters. And very often, even the most mature saints speak ill advised words for the wind (Job 6:26). Wise counselors let them pass without judgment in the moment of crisis.

But where is the corresponding emotional intensity, or even mild recognition, of God’s providence when one hundred thousand airplanes land safely every day? That is roughly how many scheduled flights there are every day in the world. And that does not include general aviation, air taxis, military, and cargo. Where is the incessant chorus of amazement and thanks that today God provided ten million mechanical and natural and personal factors to conspire perfectly to keep these planes in the air and bring them to their desired destination safely—and most of them carrying people who neglect and demean God every day?

Even when a plane with no functioning engines lands on the Hudson River, and every passenger walks out on the floating wings of this 80-ton airliner, or when a plane with ninety-seven passengers crashes in Mexico and bursts into flames after every passenger and the entire crew are safely off the plane, where is the public outpouring of thankfulness to the God of wonders? Where is the heart’s cry of thankfulness to God that we hear in Psalm 107:31 for the rescue on the sea?

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!

The world and even thousands of Christians give no praise and thanks to God for millions of daily, life-sustaining providences because they do not see the world as the theater of God’s wonders. They see it as a vast machine running on mindless natural laws, except where our heart’s rebelliousness and self-exaltation find a suitable opportunity to find fault with God and justify our blindness to a billion acts of kindness toward his defiant creation.

One of my aims in writing this book is to help us see the world another way.

- John Piper, Providence, 241-242

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