Wrestling with the sovereignty of God is never an easy task, even in the abstract. Doing it in the real, everyday, muddy details of life is like trying to thread a needle while riding a bull. Recently, I've been wrestling with this idea, once again. It seems to be a theme of my life this year.
For those who might not know, next year I've taken a position as an intern with Cru at OU, a Christian organization with a focus on sharing the Gospel, disciple-making, and world missions. It's literally a dream job, and I'm so excited to get to go back to the campus I love and share the love of Jesus, full-time.
But, before I go, I face a pretty big challenge. Cru staff, like a lot of other missionary organizations, raise their own financial support, by partnering with individuals and churches. I have to raise my own between now and August 1st. If I don't raise it, I don't go.
This is what's been really tough for me. I can put up post-it's with verses of God's promises of provision. I can memorize passages of Scripture that tell me of how He will not forsake those who seek Him. I can fall on my knees everyday, acknowledging my very real dependance on Him to provide the means for me to fill my mouth with food. All of those things, I am doing. But what's been hard, is acknowledging that He may choose not to.
I haven't even let myself think along these lines. But He could. He could choose not to bring the support in. He could choose, come August 1st, to keep me off staff. (Just writing those words was so hard, I started to cry.)
This is where faith gets real. Yes, it requires real faith to believe that God will provide me the financial support for an entire year. But I think it requires even more to believe that He is good, kind, and loving, even if He chooses to not allow the support to come in.
What will I do, if that happens? Will I hate him, and curse him, like Jonah? Or will I stand with Job, and say, "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."?
As of now, I'm fairly certain I would curse Him, just to be honest. It would be so excruciating to see yet another dream die, another hope deferred.
But I must, I must, believe that He is in control of ALL things, good and bad. I must believe that He works all things for my ultimate good. I must believe that if He did not spare His own son for me, then neither will He withhold any other sort of good from me, (no matter what I think good looks like.)
Oh, God, change my heart that I might be able to say, no matter what happens this summer, "Blessed be the name of the Lord."