There are two kinds of God's sovereignty that are difficult for our human minds to grasp. The first is his sovereignty over the big, terrible events of our lives. This is because we cannot understand how a good and loving God could possibly be orchestrating the devastating, debilitating, and often deadly circumstances that we find ourselves subject to as humans living in this sin-infested world.
Indeed, we are often met with a crisis of faith when a spouse leaves us, when a pregnancy ends in miscarriage, or when we get the awful news that we are dying from cancer. In these times we are forced to decide whether we truly believe in the God of the Bible--a God who is incomprehensibly sovereign over evil events and at the same time good in all he does--or wether we will invent a more palatable god of our own design. When catastrophic events happen in our lives we must trust--with God-given faith--his revealed Word when it says that he "works all things for the good of those who love him."
The second category of God's sovereignty that I believe we have difficulty accepting--that I see my own heart struggling to believe--is his control over the minute, tiny details of our lives. This, perhaps, is an even greater struggle than the first because it confronts us every moment of our lives. It is the unbelief that continually fails to recognize God's continual, purposeful interaction with the moments that make up our days.
It is seen in the fiery anger that burns within in our chests when we are delayed at a stop light. For we fail to recognize that it is God himself who controls all things and who has chosen to delay us for his own purposes. We fail to believe that it is for our good.
It is seen in the frustration that festers in the heart of a teacher when her student struggles to understand the concept of blending consonant sounds as he struggles to read. She forgets that it is God who controls her student's faculties, that his struggle is part of our loving Lord's plan for both him and her. She forgets to trust that such a challenge is for their good.
It is seen in the exasperation of the homemaker whose war against the never ending piles of laundry tempts her to resent the precious souls who add to it every day. She does not believe that God himself has given her this task, that he is blessing others through it, that he could use such a mundane chore to sanctify her. She does not believe that its is for their good.
Yes, it is seen every moment of every day when we fail to acknowledge him as Lord over the little things.
"Are not to sparrows sold for a penny?," Jesus said to his disciples, "And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father."
Oh soul, remember that it is he, the Creator of heaven and earth, who controls the birds of the air. Is he not also in control of your crying baby, of your complaining child, of your car that won't start? "Even the hairs on your head are all numbered by him," our Lord Jesus says. Does he not then also control the blemishes that plague your skin? How different our attitudes would be if we met every frustration, every annoyance, and every difficulty that comes our way with the knowledge of our loving God's sovereignty.
For we do not view the events of our lives through rose-colored classes, but rather through blood-drenched theology.
If we could but remember the price he paid to save us, would we not view the inconveniences of life with greater appreciation? Would they not drive us to the throne of grace rather than our keyboards where we share quick, relieving complaints disguised as Facebook statuses? Would we not find ourselves beseeching the Lord for wisdom every moment of every day, as James tells us to? For it is he who, "gives generously to all without reproach!" Soul, make use of his generosity, for your need is great!
And how differently our days would transpire if we could see his sovereignty in the small blessings he lavishes upon us. For indeed, so great is our sinfulness, that we don't even find it easy to recognize the constant good that flows from his wounds to his beloved bride.
We take for granted every breath that enters our lungs, every smile we receive from our children, every kiss we enjoy from our husbands, every hug we get from a good friend. We enter into soft, comfortable beds each night relieved that the day is over, forgetting to thank him for the many blessings we've received--not the least of which being the soft, comfortable bed we lay on!
Would our countenance not be characterized by peaceful joy rather than frenzied exhaustion if we could but keep the cross ever before us, seeing all the good things that come our way as loving gifts from a bridegroom to his purchased bride. Would our lips not be filled with his praises? Would our love for him not spill out upon all who are in our presence?
Perhaps this awareness of God residing over the little events of our lives would yield an attitude of ceaseless prayer and praise. Maybe we would come closer to obeying Paul's command to the Thessalonians to "rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thess. 5:16-18)
Can we live as those aware of the Savior's leading? Can we trust him with the little things, whether they be good or bad? Lord give us the grace to live in this blessed awareness, for we long to see you.