by MW Cook

Some thoughts on the sovereignty of God

I really enjoy that TV series that was on the air just a few years ago. Lost. It’s about a plane that crashes on a weird island and the survivors have to work together in order to survive. Kinda like castaway, except with more people, and crazy monsters and polar bears that eat people. Anyway, there’s this doctor on the show named Jack. Everyone looks up to this guy and they make him their reluctant leader. Near the end of the first season he has an argument with Kate over a decision he makes. She wants to carry some dynamite or something and he won’t let her. She argues with him and says that it’s not his choice to make. Then Jack said something that stuck in my head ever since I heard it. “Everyone wants me to be a leader until I make a decision that they don’t like.”

You may have heard by now that Ruth’s visa application was rejected. The Canadian government is afraid that Ruth might try to stay in Canada past her allotted six months. I suppose it’s a fair fear to have. We were quite disappointed when we found out, of course. The neat thing is that before the visa came we were praying that God’s will would be done regarding it. Deep down inside we were actually praying something more like “Gimmie gimmie gimmie.” It’s funny; eventually I got to a point where I was totally convinced that the visa would come. I remember one night when I prayed that the visa would come the next day. Sure enough, the next day I called the High Commission and they said the decision had been made, though they weren’t allowed to tell us what it was. I took this as a definite sign and was thoroughly convinced that God had ordained the visa to fall in our hands. Imagine my disappointment when an empty passport arrived at our house. For a second I felt a little misled. I felt like I had put my faith somewhere it didn’t quite belong. I was upset.

That’s how it always seems to go, eh? We all want a god of some kind. Just like we all need good leaders. Well, we say we want good leaders and gods, but what we really want is someone in a high authority who will agree with everything we agree with. God is great, until he makes a choice we don’t like. Of course, if God’s choices were always the same as mine that would mean that either I possessed omniscience and omni-wisdom, or that God had the intellect of a puny human. Neither of those scenarios fit with the God of the Bible, though. God is far above us. God’s wisdom is so great we could never understand it, even if he tried to explain it to us. It’s like Einstein trying to explain his Special and General theories of relativity to my boy, Joseph. It just can’t happen. I think it should be rather obvious to us that God (and good leaders) will make decisions that we don’t understand or like.

But we have wonderful promises, don’t we? God knew that many of his choices would rub against us, so he put some wonderful promises in his Message to us. “I will never leave you or forsake you.” “All things work together for good…” “I know the plans I have for you…” Lovely, lovely words.

So I sit here and I know that it is best for me to be here. Perhaps God wants me to clean up my Urdu before I get back, or plug another year into this school and try to shape the lives of these kids. Or maybe I’ll just get some better sanctification over here than I would in Canada. Or maybe the reasons are numerous and way over my head, so I shouldn’t try to figure everything out. Maybe I should delight myself in the Lord, do what I can to glorify him wherever I am, and all that good stuff I’m supposed to do.

So on we go! Another year, pray for us. Don’t pray for crappy stuff like money, comfort and whatnot. Pray for gold. That spiritual gold of faith, hope and love. Of total love to God and love to man. That’s the sort of stuff we need over here.

So I can say now that my heart is willing and I’m excited for another year here. All is and will be well. You’re in my prayers, pray for me.

In his grip and grace,
The Cook

Great heart of my own heart
Whatever befall,
Still be Thou my vision
Oh ruler of all.