The words in the song on the radio caused me to pause. “What would a skeptic think,” I wondered, “hearing God is in control — repeated over and over — and then reflecting on the recent killings of school children and policemen and the rampant sex trafficking of youth? Would he wonder, ‘If God is in control, why does He allow these tragedies?’”
My thoughts went to parenting and how it didn’t take much time to realize we couldn’t control our toddler, tween, or teen. There are things we can do to encourage our children to make good choices. There are consequences for disrespectful behavior and ways we teach our children to make things right with people they hurt. But we do not control them, as much as we might like to. We are in charge, but not in control.
God chose to give mankind free-will. He gave us the freedom to be Christ-followers and to do good. Yet free-will comes with the choice to ignore God and even to do evil. God is in charge of those who go against His ways, but He does not control them. There will be consequences for them — grave consequences, and He will step in to comfort and provide for those who have been hurt. He is in charge.
In this world we battle evil, but God has won the war. Jesus is the victor over pain, broken relationships, suffering, and death. Yes, I know what the song writer means by saying “God is in control.” But I wonder if it is less confusing to think of Him as the Heavenly Father, the good parent, who is in charge and has the final word. I wonder if it gives a clearer picture of who Jesus is — the One who gave His life for us and loves us unconditionally, yet gives us the freedom to love Him back — or not.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.
–Romans 8:28 (NIV)
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Your Response: Lord, I know You wept over sickness, death, and pain while You were on earth (John 11:35). And then You did something. Out of death You brought life. As the One in charge and the One who has the final word, give me Your perspective on what this means. Plant it in my heart and mind. (Pause and listen.)
Lord, is there a way I can partner with You today to bring forth life—in my thinking or in the world around me? Give me Your insight and more of Your heart. (Listen and respond to God.)
(Part Two of these Thoughts to Ponder will be posted next week: God is Sovereign . . .?)