One of the primary tenets to which Jonathan and I hold is the sovereignty of God in all things. It is a foundational doctrine upon which a great many others stand. Ask us about our view of salvation and we’d say “Well, it all begins with the sovereignty of God.” Ask us about our view of the continuity of scripture and we’d say “Well, it all begins with the sovereignty of God.” You get the idea. We believe that God is absolutely in control all the time and in all things, from the garden to the final judgment. We believe it.
But sometimes it’s really hard to act like we believe it.
Our house listing expired Saturday. The market here in our corner of the world has slowed – almost stopped – lately because of a number of local factors. Our Realtor advises that we wait out the market. This wasn’t our plan.
Jonathan continues to work the closing shift at Chick-Fil-A, making our budget an experiment in deficit financing. This wasn’t our plan.
Our property taxes rose 40% this year. This put our escrow account in the red, causing our mortgage payment to rise significantly beginning December 1st. This wasn’t our plan.
It’s at times like this that we could forget that we believe God is sovereign. In the midst of this we could be tempted to look for the “magic button of God’s will” : the magic prayer, the magic event, the magic emotional breakthrough that will “release” God to sell our house. But God doesn’t work that way. God isn’t bound by anything we do or say or feel. He has mapped out all things for His glory and that means He has appointed everything from the worldwide economic recession, to the individuals who have looked, or not looked, at our unique home, and He’s done it for a purpose.
When our life feels so purposeless, it’s very difficult to believe in a purposeful and sovereign God. During our miscarriage we grieved and hurt and suffered, but we could say that the Lord chose to end the pregnancy. It was a difficult thing, but it seemed like God was active in it. In this period of “treading water” it’s easy to feel like God’s forgotten us, or circumstances have caught Him off guard and he’s regrouping. It feels like the sovereign God of the universe, the Lord of hosts, has put us on hold while he tends to other things.
The truth, however, is very different. Despite our income being cut in more than half for the last three months, we remain current on all of our bills because of surprise (and in one case mysterious – thank you, if you were the cause of that) provision. An active, sovereign God has provided for us in awesome (and humbling) ways. We have had no emergencies or catastrophes because an active and sovereign God has been protecting us. We love our church family and praise the Lord that we don’t have to walk this alone.
It is a challenge to remember what is true when we don’t feel that truth, but we’re trying to remember that while this isn’t *our* plan, it is God’s plan, and it is being done on purpose for His glory and our sanctification. It’s times like this when our theology has to be so much more than theoretical. This is where the rubber of our theology meets the road of life.