Sunday, March 6, 2016

God’s Sovereignty and My Story

“The sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which the saint rests his head.” I have found this quote by C.H. Spurgeon to be true in my own life. When I tend to worry about the future, I remember God’s sovereignty, His control over all things, and that gives me peace. God doesn’t simply know the future; He controls it. He ordains the things that happen to me and to those I love.

“My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, […] Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.” (Psalm 139: 15-16)

Recently I was in the middle of a fiction book that was occupying my thoughts  even when I wasn’t reading. In the midst of those thoughts, my mind returned to a real life situation, and for a split second, I thought that, in this real life matter, like in a book, I could just look ahead, or continue ‘reading’ to see how it played out. I immediately came back to my senses. This was life; it was not a book. The story of this situation was not yet written; I couldn’t know what would happen. Perhaps time would tell, but I would perhaps never know exactly how that situation played out or the why behind it.

Yet then God sweetly reminded me that this situation I was pondering, like a story, does have an Author, and that things don’t just happen haphazardly. Just as a writer of a well-written book carefully plots out his story and has a purpose for every scene in his book, so our Father uses every event in our lives to weave the story He is writing. This is what His sovereignty does for us.  I don’t know the future, and I can’t look ahead to see. But God is sovereign; He is on the throne, and this truth challenges me not to live in worry and fear. Instead I trust in the One Who created this world and all living in it, Who sustains everything by His power, and Whose very word accomplishes His purposes.

“I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’ calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass. I have purposed, and I will do it.” (Isaiah 46:9-10)

I don’t know what lies ahead. But while I don’t know the details of the story that God is writing in my life, I do know the last page. If you’re like me, as long as I know a story ends well, I can keep reading the book despite hardships and tragedies the author may include. I just want to know everything comes out right in the end.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth […] And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” (Revelation 21:1-5)

And this ‘ending’ is really only the beginning of a story in which, as C.S. Lewis describes it, every chapter is better than the one before.

-- Amy O’Rear

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