I'm going to bring together several items from my social media posts and expand for this post.. and reach WAY back to my earliest books.
One of my earliest books (see link on books page on this site) is called 30 Days of Providence. It was written before and during my Bible study at Liberty and from my own experience with quotes and more, and I consider it one of my best books. Each day focuses on a different aspect of Providence.
Then, I went away from my Christian books when my life at the time went through MANY pressures. That was when I was in my first marriage, which gave me very little support or interest (a theme that would be repeated in the second as it turns out), and then my ex had a psychotic break, and I was left being the person that was the sole parent raising an infant, as she recovered, as I also finished my degree and used financial aid to be able to pay for bills and such. Then, as that finished, I got a job, but I found myself still unsupported and ended in divorce.
It's kinda hard to maintain a belief in Providence of God (his involvement in directing our plans), when you see pain and failure and more. Then, I would face more waves of rejection, judgment, and more from the church, itself, for the divorce. So, for a long time, I was a believer in God (felt he led me in the divorce), even as I was rejected from the church and still doubted the whole CONCEPT of Providence that I once promoted.
It is only in recent weeks that I have really started to understand a few foundational concepts that need to be understood to see Providence for what it is.
First, it must be understood that the idea we hold that things must be pleasant to be good. That SOUNDS good, but we don't actually believe that, nor do we practice it in our own lives or what we tell our children. Things that are desirable take work, and that work is unpleasant at times... whether it be physical pain from exercise, exhaustion from work, or acts of self improvement.
Next, we must understand that there is a place for evil and pain in this world. This is a concept that I just could not understand in my earlier Christian days that were all puritanical and condemning all that was not light. However, this is how the world operates... and not just because it is fallen. Satan was the opposer and STILL had an audience with God in Job, one of the earliest books of the Bible, because he had a role in shaping Job. God created the world with darkness, and the Bible says that God is present in that darkness, as well.
"If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." - Psalm 139:11-12
Indeed, it is BECAUSE of pain that we know to turn away, and scientists have studied lab rats and other animals that avoid discomfort and choose the path of less resistance. Even electricity operates by negative particles moving to positive ones. It isn't SIN or some sinister figure that wants our destruction that causes discomfort. It can clearly be seen as the same LOVE of a God to allow it as parents that let their child learn from discomfort and success as they grow and mature.
So, I can look back over the pressures and pleasures of my life and understand them more as not being in a period of TRIAL or attacks of some enemy but the NATURAL forces that God put in existence at the beginning of time as a very efficient system to mature us all. It's also not the fault of God when bad things happen. It's just a sequence of events that can very often be tied to our own acts or the acts of others, or it could be random acts, because random things DO happen in the world but can STILL teach and purify us to be better prepared and respond well.
Most won't understand this, and many will reject it. However, in time they will come to understand it is a NECESSARY component of not only making sense of the world but if they desire to become like God, which... after all... is the end goal.
"Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness." Genesis 1:26