As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. -- Isaiah 55:10-11

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sovereignty--Perfecting Imperfections

Hannah Farver posted a wonderful entry on her blog. It is exceptional, and I suggest you read "Trusting When Everything Falls." Her initial introduction addresses the sovereignty of God and how hard it is to reconcile a loving God who, in His sovereignty, allows painful things to happen.

I have often heard people who are unwilling to thank God for giving them a job accuse God when they lose one. There are a myriad of questions asking why God allows certain things. It's because He has the eternal picture.

I have two children. If I wanted, I could lock them in padded rooms and never let them out. They would never fall out of a tree. They would never scrape their knees. They would never suffer the pain of a dead pet. There are many things they would never do.

They would never learn the joy that comes from persevering. They would never know the effort and release that comes from forgiving...and being forgiven. They would never know the cost of freedom.

I know letting my children live in this world means they will hurt. I know it means physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually they will struggle. Sometimes their struggles will be more than they think they can handle. Sometimes they'll be more than I think either of us can handle. I do not ordain those struggles. I do not desire those struggles. However, because I believe in the bigger pictures, the larger Truth, the eternal outlook, I give them room to walk into those dangers, to overcome them, to be hurt by them, to be thankful for the healing, to find joyful in laughter, and to know how quickly it can be gone.

It is not a lack of love that leaves me with white knuckles when my daughter goes on a mission trip or that makes me hold my breath when my son does a multiple rotation dive off the diving board. It is my love for them that forces me to allow them the freedom to do the very things that can bring harm...and joy.

If being a human, I understand that it would be impossible to understand freedom locked in a padded cell, surely a Father with perfect love knows we will never understand faith, hope, or freedom without staring at a mountain too big for us, clinging to the embers of a dream that could easily die, or looking at prison walls that surround us.

Sovereignty does not allow situations and events to create fear and dread for us to hide in. To the contrary, sovereignty holds out hope, trust, and faith despite all the things that can...and sometimes do...go wrong.

Sovereignty is not about making things perfect. It's about restoring life despite the imperfections.

Yes, technically, God could make us act perfectly, do everything right, and never cause pain, but then that would slavery, not sovereignty, and where is the love in that?

Copyright 2009 Jerri Phillips


Marshall Sherman said...

This is a beautiful summary!

I read Hannah's post and we've talked about God's sovereignty before. ;) These are the thoughts I was having, but I didn't want to comment on the post with them.

Thank you for sharing these...

Jerri Phillips said...

Marshall, thank you for coming by and visiting. It can be a fine line, can't it? Sharing truth and sharing truth when the heart is ready and able to receive it? Sometimes the heart is too tender, and sometimes the Spirit is just tende enough.

God always amazes me...


Jan Parrish said...

Trusting in God's sovereignty is one of the hardest struggles we might face. And yet, what peace when we accept it.

Great post Jerri.

You Won! Congratulations. I'll pop it in the mail to you soon.