Bombarded by His Sovereignty

Like waves from the sea, sometimes washing in gently, sometimes crashing mightily against the shore...reminders of His sovereignty continue to bombard me. It seems like I need those daily, hourly, and sometimes even minute by minute reminders these days as the battle continues to rage between trust and fear. As long as my eyes are on those glimpses of His sovereignty, His goodness, His love, and His mercy, trust triumphs and peace...however fragile it feels at times...reigns. But the minute my eyes go back to the threatening storm...I feel myself begin the tumble toward the pit.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end;
They are new every morning;
Great is thy Faithfulness.
~Lamentations 3:22

Every day, He is faithful to send new reminders...scripture, books, songs, even blogs...that He is in control, that nothing that comes to us can come without first passing through His hand, and that He *is* working for our good and for His glory. I am so thankful for that.

Yesterday I meandered over to the blog of an online friend...and quickly realized that my "meandering" had been no accident, but God's direction. As I read, I felt something I've felt a time or two before in reading a book, a blog, etc....a feeling that, despite the fact that we have never met, we've been students in the same class: "The Sovereignty of God 101". Julie's blog, In Light of Eternity, has in and of itself already been a tremendous encouragement to me. Her post There are no Accidents is an absolute must-read. She says, "Contemplating the Sovereignty of God is an amazing exercise." I agree, and I so identify with her thoughts on "a sideline God".

While perusing her blog, I came across a link she had posted to this article on Adversity. The article is actually a sample chapter from the book, When Grace Comes Home, by Terry L. Johnson, which has now been added to my "Want to Read" list. In the meantime, the sample chapter is excellent. He says so well what God has been teaching me lately. Instead of asking "Why is there suffering?", we should be asking, "Why is there blessing?" (he uses the words pain and pleasure.) I *love* this quote...

"Only when we understand that God has ordained our suffering can we begin to make sense of it. Only then can we be certain that He has a purpose in it.
When tragedy comes, when adversity strikes, we will not be shaken.
Yes, we will cry. Yes, we will grieve.
But we will move on confidently
knowing that God is on His throne,
that we are in His hand,
that our circumstances are His doing,
and He is working them for our good."
~Terry L. Johnson

And in some sort of "link to link" exercise, I traveled from Julie's blog to Annemarie's The Days Fashioned For Me. I look forward to reading more there, but right now I am pondering her post To Lie or To Tell the Truth. Ouch. I think there are certainly times when answering with the ever-expected "Fine" is, well, fine. They're being polite, we're being polite, and all is...fine. But then there are those times when we know someone is asking the deeper question, and our answer is not motivated by courtesy, but rooted in pride. She suggests that in those times, we are actually stealing the glory of God. OUCH, again. Quote for thought:

"That's right. Go ahead, steal God's glory.

What?!? Yep, it's by far easier to fake it, than admit that we are only existing by the sheer grace of God. When does God get glory in our life? When we suffer and yet praise Him. Therefore I ask, can He get glory if we don't admit that we suffer?"
~Annemarie, The Days Fashioned for Me

Am I thankful right now for the underlying circumstances God is using as our classroom in the School of Suffering and Sovereignty? To be honest, no. I'm not there yet. But...am I thankful for the lessons He is teaching us through those circumstances...lessons I know could not have been learned any other way? Definitely yes. Through the storm clouds, He has graced us with glimpses of His sovereignty that are beyond amazing. For those glimpses, I am thankful.

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Truthseeker said...

Jen!!!! Wow, I am so blessed by your post... This is so amazing! that God is bringing us together to minister to one another and none of us have met the other! You have to go on Jen Ig's blog - jeneralities.com she used to be one of the Senior Editors of Old Schoolhouse Mag and we are now becoming fast friends.

I'm not sure all that's going on in your life. I'll have to check HK. Did you post there all the troubles you're experiencing? Well, gotta get going. I'll keep in touch. (and we'll just keep the scramble match going!)

Annemarie said...

Wow. God truly gave you this post! Quote away, any time you like. :)

As I was reading, I began to think about the circumstances in my life. Although I am also attending "The Sovereignty of God 101", so much of it right now is theory. In His graciousness, He has blessed us (why?!?) with a quiet time that has no outward suffering. I have to admit that sometimes I dread the future, for I know that my husband and I really do want to glorify Him, therefore suffering must come.

That is when knowing people like you (though I don't know your specific situation) shouts to me "It is REAL!" And I know that it will continue to be real no matter what comes my way or your way.

I am glad that the Lord led you my way!


Joyful Days said...

I needed both of those posts.

The person who was "fine?" That was my mother. She was always strong, she was always fine. Many people respected that--but I wish she had let her family in sometimes.

There is a balance to be sure.

Thanks for letting God use you, these were great posts to read--as all your posts on suffering have been for me.