I have a big black hole inside me where my parents should go. I’m starting to realize just how deep it goes. God has blessed me with wonderful relationships. He has placed me in an extended family called the church and that family thrills and satisfies me and more than heals all wounds from the family I was born into. With one exception. The problem is with me. I haven’t been able to sustain an intimate relationship with older men or women who look out for me the way moms and dads are supposed to look out for their kids. I haven’t been able to trust or share my heart with anyone I sense wants that kind of relationship with me. It’s not like I have a lot of offers anyway. I appear so confident and competent. I don’t seem to ‘need’ it but that confidence covers a deep unmet need I haven’t been able to show. So how do you do it? Has anyone reading this ever been able to find a mom or dad substitute who really cared, who fought for you, who called you out? Have you been able to sustain a relationship that set things right and healed old wounds? How?
What does it mean to me when I say God is sovereign in my life?
Have you ever thought about this question for yourself?
Genesis 35: 16-18, “Leaving Bethel, Jacob and his clan moved on toward Ephrath. But Rachel went into labor while they were still some distance away. Her labor pains were intense. After a very hard delivery, the midwife finally exclaimed, “Don’t be afraid—you have another son!” Rachel was about to die, but with her last breath she named the baby Ben-oni (which means “son of my sorrow”)The baby’s father, however, called him Benjamin (which means “son of my right hand”).”
Every time I read this story I think of my mom. I, like Benjamin, was the child left behind. Like Rachel, my mother’s death was totally unexpected and I can’t help but wonder what her thoughts were as she took her last breath. Were they of her children she was leaving behind, were they of her husband?
Isn’t it when extreme tragedy steps into our lives, leaving heartache in its path that we ask ourselves if God is truly sovereign? This is when we question if God is truly our ruler in the good times and the bad? Is it not in these times that our faith is tested?
It’s easy to say God is the sovereign ruler of my life when all is going well, when everything is just peachy. Its then I can sing or proclaim that “My God Reigns” because He’s got everything under control.
Yet it’s when tragedy, disappointments or heartaches strikes that I am faced with the tough questions. Will I question His sovereignty in the midst of calamity? Can I trust Him? Is He still the sovereign King in my life?
It’s often at these times I find myself thinking, “If I just tried harder, if I was just a better person, then maybe bad things wouldn’t happen.” Do you ever get stuck in the pit of-if I do better then bad things won’t happen?
Yet when I read the story of Job I begin to get a different picture. “Though he slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13: 15).
That’s trust in God’s sovereign rulership even in the worst of times.
If good works keep us out of trouble then when I read the countless stories of people today or people in the bible I should see people who lived lives of smooth sailing but instead when I read biographies, I find stories filled with traumatic experiences, appalling events and major disappointments. Yet they testify as to the sovereignty of the God they love.
I don’t know what you are facing today…but I do know that our sovereign God has a plan for you. A sovereign God overruled the hardships life threw at me, because God had a plan – God ruled!
The same God that was watching over Rachel when she whispered the name of her boy as she died is the same God who watched over my mother and her children when she took her last breath. That is simply amazing to me.
As we read the story of Joseph, Rachel’s first child we find that he ended up saving millions in Egypt from famine and her child Benjamin is where we find out about God’s sovereign rule in his life. Paul, in Philippians 3:5 writes that he was from the tribe of Benjamin. Here was the apostle to the gentiles, the apostle whose writings have continually upheld Christians to this very day was from the lineage of a baby boy left orphaned at birth…..but a sovereign God held this baby in the palm of His hand…just like He holds you and me…wow…our God rules!
I like this quote by Dave Brown- “We often don’t always know why things happen to us and others in a given situation or circumstance but we know why we trust God who does know why.”
“Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to His love, and the future to His providence.”