No Accidents

C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia are a longstanding favorite of me and my family. We have lost count of the number of times we have read them, and since Focus on the Family produced their outstanding audio version, we have just about worn out those CDs from listening to them so often too.

I was listening (again!) to The Horse and His Boy during a long drive recently, and was struck by Lewis’ depiction of God’s sovereignty. Seemingly random events first bring together a peasant slave boy with a talking warhorse from Narnia, but then further events bring the two of them together with an uppity princess and her talking horse. None of them set out to find or join up with the others, but each of their journeys become inextricably tied to one another in the adventures that follow.

What is especially striking to me is the way in which these characters come together in the story. When the runaway boy and his horse become aware that there is a girl and her horse nearby, they at first try to keep their distance and avoid being seen. But then some lions come and spook the horses, roaring at them from both sides until the two horses are inexorably pushed together. Later in the story we find out that there was only one Lion (but He was very fleet of foot) and that this Lion had a purpose in bringing these children and horses together. All they saw was their own purpose and what they were attempting to accomplish, and therefore on the multiple occasions when they encountered this Lion, they saw it as a frightful hindrance and dangerous interruption to their plans. But what they came to realize as their journey progressed was that these seemingly random encounters were not random at all, but were intentionally orchestrated events to bring about something far bigger than their own little ideas and plans. (As another Narnian character, Puddleglum, says in The Silver Chair, “There are no accidents with Aslan.”)

There are no accidents with our God. He holds all things in His hands, and He is sovereignly orchestrating His grand plan of redemption, for His glory. My wife and I sometimes wonder why God called us to adopt a little girl with special needs, because it often seems like just a random event that is disconnected from the plans we were aiming at. But we are trusting that this, along with each part of the story that we encounter, is being pushed together by the Great Lion into an adventure that is far grander than anything we could dream up on our own. And so we keep walking day by day, and keep trusting the One with whom there are no accidents.

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