Wednesday, October 12, 2016

12. God is Sovereign and Has My Best in Mind

One of my favorite attributes of God is his sovereignty. I love knowing that God is in control and has a plan. Maybe it's the writer in me, but it's comforting to know that God is the ultimate author and his storyline is perfect. 

I once heard an analogy that time is like the line on a basketball.
If you're on the line you can only see what's right before you. But if you're holding the basketball, you can see the whole line at once. God is holding the basketball - he's outside of time and can see all of it at once. I love that things that don't make sense to us are part of God's ultimate plan. Everything weaves so intricately together that we could never comprehend it - because we're in the middle of it instead of above it. 

Sometimes knowing that God works everything together for his purpose is comforting. When a situation is out of my control, I trust that it's part of God's plan. For instance, when we were trying to sell our house, every time a showing didn't pan out, I didn't stress about it. I just thought, "It wasn't meant to be. It's not time yet." I know that God's timing is perfect and trusted that it would happen when he wanted it to. 

However, sovereignty can be a little harder to swallow when bad things happen. When I pray for a healthy pregnancy and the baby dies before my first appointment it's hard not to cry, "Where is the good in this, God? How can this be a part of your plan?!"

I've heard it said that you should never tell someone who is grieving that everything happens for a reason or that God has a purpose for your pain. But that was actually incredibly helpful for me. To know that my suffering wasn't pointless. To know that he can use a devastating moment in my life for my sanctification and his glory.

The Bible is full of examples of his perfect plan. Joseph is one of my favorite Old Testament characters. When he was sold into slavery, he couldn't possibly have seen how good could come of it. When he was falsely accused and imprisoned, he must have doubted God's plan and purpose for him. He couldn't have known that he'd be called upon to interpret Pharaoh's dreams, be elevated to a place of prominence in a foreign land, and ultimately save his family and the nation of Israel from starvation. But God knew.

I read through all of my old blog entries to look for "life lessons" to share. It was so sad to read some of my entries in December of 2011. I didn't write anything about being pregnant, but I wrote about how amazing Christmas was. It was amazing because we revealed to our families that we were going to have a baby. And in January I wrote about a trip I took with some girlfriends. I remember being sick and sharing with them that I was pregnant. It's so sad to read it in hindsight knowing what was coming. But God knew, and he was preparing me in ways I was totally oblivious to.

Romans 8:28 is an oft quoted verse, but one that is full of hope and meaning: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." God is working things together for our good. That doesn't mean he always wants us to be happy, or that he'll pave an easy path for us, or that if we love him just right he'll give us everything we want. It means we'll be used for his purpose and he'll do what's best for us - which usually involves growth (which is almost always painful). But growth draws us closer to his Son, and that is the best we can ever ask for.

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