Morning at Gunung Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia. An ODAC expedition in 2006
I guess I'm not entirely done with mountain climbing in this life... but it seems that I have a whole lot of other stuff at the current moment
I guess that before army, I loved the outdoors many times more than the indoors. Before going outdoors meant a military mission with an assault rifle, a field pack and 6 men to look after, it was a very enjoyable affair. Not that I regret how God has used the whole army experience for the betterment of my being. It's just that after countless outfields I have come to better appreciate the modern comforts of indoor living, have become more domesticated.
But I still do love the great outdoors. I still love to run along the coast, through trails in the midst of vegetation. After all, the outdoors, quite apart from urban development, takes me a step closer in thought to the beauty of God's creation. Witnessing the creation of my King. The sky, the waves, the greenery- it's like the 104th Psalm being lived out.
Creation- a poignant reminder of the omnipotence of God.
Which brings me to my topic today. The sovereignty of God- directly related to His omnipotence.
Sovereignty. "... the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations." -Psalm 33:11.
It's queer how our intellect and our hearts seem so often to meander along distinctly different courses. I know that God is in charge. I know that He cares for me. I know I do not need to worry or care for my needs. I know, know, know.
But yet often I feel differently. I feel that this omnipotent, loving God knows not what He is doing. I wonder how he could allow close friends to turn against me. I wonder how he could allow me to fail a driving test. I wonder how he could allow me to go through feelings of loneliness in the armed forces.
And so I begin to not trust God. I begin to worry. I begin to grab the reins of a chariot whose horses I am unable to control. I take hold of the wheel of a gigantic ship even though I am not tall enough to look beyond the hull and see where the ship is headed.
The horses sense a charioteer who is not in control and run amuck. The ship crashes into the rocks. I throw my hands up in despair. Alright Lord, now you take control again.
IF. And that is one big IF. IF I really do believe in the sovereignty of a living God. IF I believe that He is in control of the whole universe- the greatest forces in nature. Forces as devestating as the earthquake and tornado. IF I believe He is in control of the smallest of creatures - the ants and the mites- and organisms smaller still- like viruses and bacteria. IF I believe the wind and the waves heed His commands and the dead arose and the blind saw and the lame walked. IF I believe in a God in total control and with limitless resources in terms of miracles.
IF that were true, then what am I doing getting anxious over my life? What am I doing pondering the concerns of my life? BOSS bidding, future classes, academic performance, ministry issues, relational issues? Is God not able to settle all these for me?
And when I do get to such a point in my train of thought, the thing that often causes me to re-enter into a state of despair is this very curious human tendency. The tendency to question whether or not God cares at all.
If He really cared for me, why am I still continuing to fail my exams? Why am I still being given so much extra work in the armskote? Why am I still struggling with this relationship issue? Why am I falling sick?
It really is a pendulum effect is it not?
"God aren't you able to do anything?"
"God if you're able to do something, why don't you do anything? Don't you care?"
"God are you really in control of this situation? Because everything is getting out of hand. If you were in control things wouldn't be this bad. I wouldn't be hurting so."
"Lord, I don't know why you always do such things to me! I hate what I'm going through. Bring me out! Why do you let these things happen to me? Your word says to cast all my anxiety on you. But you're not wanting to do anything!"
One of the things I've been telling myself lately is to rest assured in the promises of my God. I know He's sovereign, I know He cares. I know that each situation is going to be worked out in His omnipotence and omniscience. And because of His omnipresence I will never be alone.
I tell myself. If my number one priority is to honour God, and to obey His commands and see His will done in my life. Then I should not worry about how my university life with all its complications will turn out. How my friendships will turn out. How my future job search will be. How He will provide for a future spouse. For He will work it out for my good. Every situation is according to His will as long as I remain in His will. I have nothing to fear if I fear Him. Nothing to be anxious over if I trust in His sovereignty.
If God is sovereign.
If we allow Him to be reign over our lives.
Then we fly above the storms.
But that, being said, is easier said than done. Trusting in the sovereignty of God. Trusting in the fact that He is able and that He cares is never simple.
Trusting in the sovereignty of a living God. The simplest thing and yet simultaenously the hardest thing to do.
And so I pray to Him who has an endless supply to supply my need to trust and obey.
I do hope to write a continuation of sorts regarding Psalm 33:11.