May 24, 2012

God is in Control

Two days of steady rain bring out certain attitudes in people. Those who live in the city are the most apt to complain about the weather, while farmers understand the necessity of rain, especially this time of year. 

Yesterday a city person raved about the rain, not annoyed with it, but delighted. Her praises delighted me sufficiently that I’m still thinking about her words and how refreshing it felt to hear someone appreciate what is often considered a big irritation, particularly when it happens on a weekend.

This morning’s devotional verse is about the One who controls the weather — and everything else.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. (Psalm 103:19)
In the past few months, the circumstances of my life have involved several tests of faith. Heart problems, and severe difficulties in the lives of family members and friends could make me question the care of God. Other events in our church and in our country could make me question His wisdom. Yet in these, I do not question His sovereignty. I know that He is King and rules over all. But can I praise Him like that city person who praised the rain?

The comments for this verse say there is nothing that can be excluded as a matter for praise since there is nothing which is not a matter of the Lord’s gracious permission, planning, or control. He is in charge, and although I may not understand His plan (which is most of the time), He does have a plan. Because He is good, there are good reasons for what happens. 

Sometimes I feel like the child being taken to the dentist. This doesn’t seem like a good plan to me, but my Father knows what I need. Or sometimes I feel like I am walking a long hallway in the dark, yet He holds my hand. He is always with me.

More difficult is watching crisis in the lives of others and question what God is doing in them and to them. Yet from The Chronicals of Narnia book, The Horse and His Boy, I hear the Holy Spirit say, “That is not for you to know, this is not your story.” Peter questioned Jesus in the same way about John, and Jesus said, “Never mind about him; you follow me.

No matter where I go or what happens to me, I cannot step outside of the kingdom of God. He owns ruling dominion, even in the lives of those who cannot see it or will not acknowledge it. Nothing is beyond His care or His Almighty power. All that happens is from His hand. All is given or allowed by Him in His great wisdom. The powers that seem to rule in this age of seeming godlessness have no idea that they operate only by the sovereign permission of a patient God, full of mercy and grace. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and ending of all things.

Lord, it is with a settled heart that I begin this day, knowing that whatever it brings will not be a surprise to You. Already I know of more demands than I can possibly meet, yet knowing You are in charge is a greater knowledge and tremendously practical. Without You, I would be in a state of panic or at least under deep stress with concerns over the cares of life. My responsibilities are piled high and deep, but You are higher and deeper and broader than anything that can happen. Indeed, You are the One behind all those happenings — and also the One who loves me.

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