The book is, obviously, about God’s Providence, which includes the truth that everything that happens to us is known and in some sense ordained by God, all part of conforming us to His image. And I think we can all look back over our lives and see reasons why such-and-such a thing happened to us, why such-and-such a person was in our life. But the book reminded me that that goes both ways – that we also find ourselves in the lives of other Christians for some reason, to help them grow in some way. Every time, there is a reason. There are no surprises or accidents in God’s planning. And that’s a humbling and kind of frightening thought.
Maybe it’s reasonable not to think explicitly in those terms too often – it might, you know, be kind of creepy to go up to a friend and say to them, “I just wanted you to know that it’s by God’s Providence that I’m in your life.” It would be true, but it would be creepy! And, of course, God sometimes teaches us by suffering too – somehow I think I’d rather not be a source of someone’s suffering, even if it was making them more Christlike! (But, of course, we all are, sometimes intentionally (parent punishing child), sometimes not (leaning on the aid of others during an illness, say).)