What is Providence?

My friend Jon had a great post today calling into question the relationship of luck and providence. Then I found this old post I'd been saving in Bloglines for awhile.

The most beautiful confessional statements of God's providence are found in the Heidelberg Catechism:

What do you mean by the providence of God? (Question 27)

The almighty and everywhere present power of God; whereby, as it were by his hand, he upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, and all things come, not by chance, but by his fatherly hand.

What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by his providence does still uphold all things? (Question 28)

That we may be patient in adversity; thankful in prosperity; and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall separate us from his love; since all creatures are so in his hand, that without his will they cannot so much as move.