Later today I’ll meet Dan and Laura Sawatzky, a couple whose story I just completed for Power for Living. Dan went on a 2-week mission trip to Brazil in 2008 to build a church alongside several career missionaries. While there, he was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle crash. He was air-ambulanced back to B.C. where he contracted a “super-bug” in the local hospital. As a result, his recovery suffered major setbacks and he was unable to work for eight months (he was a self-employed contractor).
As I listened to Dan and Laura describe their harrowing experience, I realized how easy it might be for them to question God’s sovereignty in their lives. And yet, they maintained confidence that God had directed Dan to Brazil. They acknowledged His hand in every detail of the trip, and they expressed gratitude for His being in control despite how out-of-control the circumstances may have appeared.
King David understood God’s sovereignty, too. 2 Samuel 7:18-29 records his prayer to God; the words Sovereign LORD appear seven times (NLT). This knowledge of God’s character enabled David to respect Saul even when Saul hunted him like an animal. How easy it would have been for David to kill Saul and assume the royal throne, but he refused to step ahead of God’s timing. He respected Saul and waited to become king because he trusted God’s sovereignty over the details of his life.
What a great example for us! When difficulties come, it’s easy for us to get upset or to whine about life not being fair. It’s easy to retaliate against those who hurt us. It’s easy to act impulsively to try to calm our fears (I remember nearly leaving our year-round Christian camping ministry to find a “real” job when we ran into major financial setbacks). But really…if God is indeed sovereign over the details of our lives, then peace and confidence ought to be our trademarks.
Next time you feel afraid or angry at your circumstances, ask God to show you whether they’re the natural consequences of something you shouldn’t have done. If so, ask Him to forgive and grant the wisdom and grace necessary to move forward from that point. If not, praise Him for being the Sovereign Lord and choose to believe that He’s in control of your destiny.
How have you seen God’s sovereignty in your life?