Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"...confident of God's sovereign control..."

We've been going through the book of John off and on for months at Christchurch- taking detours into Psalms and 1 has been a wonderful series.

On Sunday, Pete preached from John 18- excellent message. I haven't been able to leave it this week. I'm stuck in it- enjoyinig it, loving it, reading it over and over time and again- convicted, challenged, and my eyes are being opened to the same truths in new ways. Ah, nothing but the Word of God coupled with the Holy Spirit can do that. What gifts.

This chapter closely mirrors Matthew 26-- a loved and often visited portion of Scripture (that I regularly refer others to as well) amidst trial in relationships. Jesus' response to Judas in the moment of betrayal: "Friend, do what you came to do" always hits me--

UGH! It cuts to my heart!!! Not only do I not address those who wrong me as friend, but I don't trust God above their sin or the circumstance- I think and respond in a defensive way (like Peter does in vs. 10 of ch. 18 in John- trying to fight with his sword). Here, Jesus entrusts Himself to God-- at the hands of ungodly, unmerciful sinners (who are sinning in this very moment) who hate Him and intend evil and harmful and wicked things for Him. Wow. And He knows that God is going to let all of those awful things happen...and He trusts that God's plan is redemptive...even when all He can see is sin and gloom...and Jesus trusts that it has an outcome that is worthy of the suffering and pain involved...

Ok, I'm getting ahead of myself...back to John 18. So amidst the countless glorious truths in this chapter of the Living Book, verse 4 has been most read, meditated on, and done the most probing of my heart the the last few days.

"Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, 'Whom do you seek?"' (emphasis mine)

Knowing all that would happen to Him. Yes. He knew it all. Every lash of the whip. Every thorn in the crown- every nail, every splinter, every single ounce in every drop of holy and righteous wrath (that I deserved) that would be poured on Him...He knew what awaited Him. All of it.

Knowing this...He came forward. How can we not marvel?! How can we not worship?! HE came forward. HE took a step. He said, essentially, "Here I am" to the enemies that sought Him. To the wrath that awaited Him.

My ESV Study Bible notes say this of verse 4, "Jesus, confident of God's sovereign control, hands himself over to His captors."

I read that and said aloud in a room by myself, "Wow."

And then I thought about my life. And how different it is from the Savior's. Could that sentence ever be said of me? Ever? "Janelle, confident of God's sovereign control..." sigh. Oh, Father, make it so. Change me.

Just those words. Confident of God's sovereign control.

If I really believed, in a functioning and practical way...oh, how my life would look different.

So as the days have gone on, I've thought about my season of life: Wales. Administrative Assistant. LIFE leader. Single. Away from home. Away from friends. Many different "worlds" around the globe. Temporary season. In each of I willing to consider, marvel at, and enjoy a CONFIDENCE in the sovereign control of God?

Though currently, no storms are pressing (Scripture promises their soon arrival) the mundane trials and struggles of I surrendered to God? Do I see my "international inconveniences" as His sovereign hand? Not being able to call my sister when I want to, or wish my dad a happy birthday the first time I think of it (because its an ungodly hour his time)...growing increasingly more aware of just how "out of the loop" I am with ones I dearly love, hearing how many new teeth my nephew has gotten in the last month...those little things- all the tiny stings of the cost of being in this I think God has overlooked it all? Do I think He forgot I am from the States? Or doesn't know what's important to me? (That I really like goldfish and they don't sell them over here?! =)

Oh He knows. He knows fully. He knows just as He knew "all that would happen to Him." And He sees the other side. He sees the big picture. He is WORTHY of my trust. His character has WORTH...His character is holy and just and my confidence can rest in His wisdom and love...and timing.

The freedom that has resulted from the illumination of these sweet indescribable. JOY and peace...oh, He is good. Oh, He is so good!

1 comment:

My year in Wales... a memoir in the making said...

Praise the Lord that he is Soverign and know what we need even before we ask! He is beyond worthy!!!

...goldfish are coming your way :)