Sometimes the sovereignty of God confuses me.
I understand that He is fully in control of our lives and that He can and does use everything that happens for His glory. I understand that He allows both bad and good to occur on this earth, and frankly He doesn’t owe us anything.
I get that.
What I don’t understand is how He can use our pain, our tears, our grief, into what He considers glory.
I know He can. I know He does. But I still find it maddening.
Then these verses tumble in:
“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker– An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?”
– Isaiah 45:9a
“You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay…?”
– Isaiah 29:16a
These are my clay moments.
Tonight I learned that a friend’s precious unborn baby was called home to be with God. This is her second child now in Heaven.
I also have other dear friends whose beautiful tiny babies were not meant for this world.
I even have a little brother I’ve never met, five years younger, who I’m sure would be a handsome young man today.
It is so unsettling to my soul when tiny lives begin and so quickly fade away. I become angry with God and ask, “Why do You do this? Why even let our hopes rise only to dash them apart?”
Why, God, why do You choose to find glory in this?
Why have you let me enjoy my two beautiful babies and yet wrenched my friends from theirs?
Last week I finished reading the book of Job. God allows Job to lose his children and his earthly possessions and his health (he loses everything but a not-so-encouraging wife). After all this Job famously declares, “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.”
And I guess he would know.
But as I grieve alongside my friends, I am reminded that God is also the God of All Comfort. Our salvation is centered around trusting Him, and just as we trust He has prepared a place for us in Heaven, we have to also trust He will guide us through this earthly life until we get there. We have to trust in His strength to lead us in both the joyful and the painful times.
So I guess everything that points us back to trusting Him brings Him glory and magnifies (makes bigger) His name in our lives. Perhaps it’s like our life is a billboard and when we get too focused on ourselves it displays our name, but when we return our focus to God it is His name that goes up in lights. That should always be our goal: to display Him in us. In all things.
So, I still get angry at the things I don’t understand. I still grieve when deep sadness engulfs those I love. I’m still human, and God enables us to experience this life with vivid, often overwhelming, emotions.
But regardless of how I feel about God from moment to moment, He is still the same God who has demonstrated love and mercy to us, who has given us a hope and a future, and who will never leave or abandon us.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.