“God isn’t waiting at the finish line, He’s here in it with you,” a friend said as he spoke to my Greek Bible study towards the end of school. I broke down in tears as I heard him say that, and tried to internalize the weight of his words (which were a total gift of the Holy Spirit). The words I used to describe how I felt around that time were a little lost and a little broken, so being reminded of God’s presence and sovereignty even in the midst of the chaos of my world moved me to tears. I desperately wanted to believe God was in control, but how could He be when I was in pain? I desperately wanted to believe God’s plan for my life was good, but how could I when my post-college plans quickly went to hell in a hand-basket? It all seemed easier if God wasn’t actually in the midst of it with me, but hovering about 100 feet above me. He could see it happening, but He wasn’t in it, because I thought, if He was in it, then it shouldn’t be happening the way it was.
We all know David of the Bible. King David, author of the book of Psalms, wrestled with God through some hardcore yuckiness. God makes some big promises to David, many of which get fulfilled in David’s son, Solomon, the wisest man to live… a man, I should remind you, who was the result of one of David’s biggest mistakes. So David and Solomon, both men after the Lord’s heart. They pursue righteousness, they are obedient, they are good guys. Then comes Jeroboam and Rehoboam. They’re not so good. Conflict divides the once united kingdom into Israel and Judah. Everything David and Solomon worked towards is destroyed. Generation after generation corrupt kings lead God’s people further away from Him through idolatry. Such is the power of sin.
If I were God, I would have been pissed. I would have retreated to 100 feet above the situation and become a passive observer while my people blatantly disobeyed me. Good thing I’m not God. As I read through 1 Kings 15, I was struck by God’s presence through these dark days of Israel and Judah. He sent people talk to the corrupt kings. He orchestrated deaths of families who were disobedient. And when a just, obedient king came into power, God blessed him. God was it with them. I’m not diminishing my sin, but I will say, my season of transition pales in comparison to the dark days of Israel and Judah. God doesn’t leave His people, even when things suck.
God is both present and sovereign. He knows how the story ends, but He’s here working it all for our good. He’s infinite. He’s in control. The more I immerse myself in who God is, the less daunting my circumstances seem, and the more I can believe He is in control. He wouldn’t leave me, nor will He stop being good. Praise Him!
“Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing… Remains
Your love never fails, it never gives up,
It never runs out on me.”
-One Thing Remains, Kristin Stanfill