Monday, June 10, 2013

God Does All Things Well

These last few weeks have been difficult, to say the least.  

Friday a week ago the courtship of which I was a part ended abruptly and unexpectedly.  The next day, Saturday, a large dog attacked my sheep and ended up killing four of the lambs.  It was heartbreaking to see the flock scattered and shaken, and the bereaved ewes calling for their babies.  My father was the brave one, burying the dead lambs for me.  He shows me how much he cares for me by taking care of the practical difficulties so that I do not have to, and I am very thankful for him.  My brother also did some of the hard things, and encouraged me by his willingness to bear the load of icky jobs that come along with raising any animals. 

God does all things well.  I cannot see the reasons for these hard times, but if I could, God's plans would only be proven more glorious and the end result better than I can dream right now.  He has planned out history marvelously well, and all things, even (especially?) the difficult things work together for the good of His people and the glory of His Name.  "Scripture invariably treats us a morally responsible agents," as John Stott put it in The Cross Of Christ. 

We grow closer to God in the stressful, difficult, heart-wrenching times because it is then that He shows us how we are not in control of our lives.  It is then that He displays to us our need of Him to make it through another day.  He uses our sins and the sins of others to grow us to maturity because we are basically lazy, and usually grow only when we are pushed to do so.  To use a different metaphor, the shepherd uses some dogs to nip at the heels of the flock in order to keep them from the cliff, while at the same time calling the sheep to himself so that they know which way safety lies.  

According to Paul David Tripp, often times of waiting are sent to give us opportunity to grow in knowing God, to grow in knowing self (how sinful and selfish I really am apart from the grace of God), and new ability to serve others by sympathizing with them when they go through similar trials.   

So, although I do not understand, by the grace of God I do accept and will cling to Him as each earthly hope and wish fails.  May His name be ever blessed, and ever honored.