"God's ways [in carrying out His will] are very remarkable. So far as we can see, He often works without means. Perceiving no causes in operation, we expect no effects. Seeing no disease, we expect no death. Not looking for a casualty, it finds us unprovided with remedies, and we are ready to be swallowed up. As we begin to give up all hope, God steps in and relieves us. When He chooses, He dispenses with all means. He did so when He made the world. He has often done so since...Will God save Rome from pillage? It shall be done by the cackling of geese. Has a man's appointed time upon earth expired? The sting of a bee, the scratch of a pin, a crumb of bread, or a vernal zephyr shall be the means of his death. Will God prolong the life of Hezekiah? A lump of figs shall have healing efficacy. Will He raise up a wonderful nation? It shall be from a man, whose body was dead, he being about an hundred years old, and the womb of his wife dead also (Rom. 4:19). Moreover God often works contrary to means. How much malpractice in medicine does He provide against, and thus restore the patient! How many blunders in His ministers does He overrule for good! Christ would give sight to a blind man. He makes clay, puts it on his eyes as if to make him more blind, but he is healed. A terrible fall dislocates a joint. The bone is not put fairly back into its place. Years of lameness and suffering succeed. A second fall, worse that the first, jars the frame, jeopards life, but restores the bone to its socket, and soon the man walks and leaps and praises God. By death, God destroyed him that had the power of death. God often works contrary to the natural tendency of means."
-- William Plumer (1802-1880)