The day before I left to go to Mexico as a missionary, Cline Paden stuck his head in my door. “Hey Bob, do you believe in the Providence of God?”

What was this, a trick question? Of course I believed in the Providence of God – I had just graduated from SIBI, I had to believe in the Providence of God. I had memorized every Scripture on the Providence of God, I had written papers on the Providence of God, why, I was the resident expert on the Providence of God!

Cline simply smiled that infectious, knowing smile. “You do not believe in the Providence of God today the way you will believe in the Providence of God one year from now.” With that, he turned and left.

Of course he was right. Cline had a knack for living in God’s Providence; for making walking by faith tangible. Looking back on his life it seems so simple, so obvious, so, so, so duh . . .. Of course that’s the way we should live – God is on His throne, isn’t He? We are His children, aren’t we? He promises to never forsake us, doesn’t He? . . ..

So simple, so basic, so spattered on every page of the Bible. And yet, so rare to see in the lives of ordinary men. Cline was ahead of us brothers and sisters. That which I can only seem to get a passing glimpse of Cline Paden lived, pursued, sustained.

His legacy speaks for itself. The sun on this earth never sets on the work that Cline Paden’s vision saw those fifty years ago.

So long Cline. I do believe in the Providence of God. I pray that someday I will trust it the way you did.

Bob Odle

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