Let’s be honest. For many of us, talking about the sovereignty of God can get complicated and emotional.
Even though I believe in the sovereignty of God fully, I went through a time when the mention of God’s sovereignty could bring me to tears… angry, confused tears. In the weeks following the sudden and horrific death of a loved one, God began to invite me to “come under His wings,” to submit to His care, His comfort, His direction, His protection. And it was hard. It was hard because I did believe that God is sovereign, which means He could have stopped the tragedy that now marred my life. He could have protected or directed differently so as to avoid this pain, but He didn’t. He let it happen.
Believing in God’s sovereignty can be painful if you don’t also trust His intentions.
In the days that followed I would learn to trust God’s intentions more surely than I ever had before, but getting there required honest wrestling. God loves me and He is committed to my good, so much so that He would not let me hang onto a shred of doubt about His heart and intentions toward me. He initiated the wrestling match and promised me He was working something so purposefully good out of this when all I could see was loss and destruction. He met me in that wrestling match, dignifying every emotion, allowing me to say everything I needed to say to Him and through it all He is teaching me to fix my eyes on the joy that will be mine when His glory is reveled.
In this week’s intro video we hear these words:
As I draw closer, the stakes raise higher and like all real things it’s the ecstasy and the agony that rearrange me into someone true.
You’ve prepared a table before me, on it sits love and death, covenant and life—spilt and broken. Sorrow shared, promises spoken. Fear taunts, but every pulse of Your heart steadies me. I must stay close enough to feel it.
My eyes are fixed on the feast and that moment when I will raise my glass and say, “to the Fountain of Life, to the River of Delights…it was all worth it.”
These words were born from my wrestling match with God and it has become my firm and unwavering conviction that He is Sovereign and His ways are good and the more I submit to Him even when its painful, the more I will be able to say one day, “It was all worth it.”
Communion has become a reminder to me of this. Christ too had to submit to God even when it was painful. Remember how honestly he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane on the eve of his arrest and ultimate death sentence. Remember how he resisted the sin of not submitting to God to the point of sweating blood. Jesus knew it was within the Father’s capability to do anything He wanted. Jesus knew the Father was sovereign. Jesus knows how hard it can be to submit to the suffering that will bring about the greatest good. Jesus also trusts the Father’s intentions without question. He knows everything He does is full of goodness and love and justice, even when there are times of excruciating pain in order to bring about His good plan.
So whatever your thoughts are on the sovereignty of God, no matter what your story has been so far, no matter how you feel, just bring it all before God, hash it out with Him, be as honest as you can… I promise you, He is trustworthy.