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photo: iStock_000018163576

photo: iStock_000018163576

What is my bird’s eye view of life?

I can tell you this.  I don’t have it often.  I get it in snapshots.  I had a few more as I did a study of the attributes of GOD in 2012.  That was when I stumblingly wrote a series under the title LOOKING UP IN 2012.  It brought to mind many snapshots of my life as I looked at the GOD of the universe and how big He is.

Shortly after my 54 year old father suddenly died of a heart attack, I got my first bird’s eye view of life…and GOD.

He had never been sick.  I don’t even think he ever had any surgery in his life.  The man was amazingly healthy…until the moment that clot landed in just the wrong place, the widow maker spot in his heart.  He didn’t have a second chance to make it to the hospital.  He didn’t even call his secretary in the next room.  That’s how fast he was gone.  There were no “good-bye’s.”  No last chances to say, “I’m proud of you!”  or “I love you.”
To say I was shocked is an understatement.  It shook my world!  I was living in Jamaica with my family: husband, 2 year old and 7 month old daughters.  It was November 1973, just after Thanksgiving.
When the phone rang, my world stopped.  I went on automatic pilot.  I frantically washed laundry, packed and we were on our flight to the Miami airport and the short drive to Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  We were there by that evening!  My father was gone.  The house was full of family…but my dad was gone!
As I began processing this loss a few months later, Elisabeth Eliot’s words from a book she wrote on death whose title escapes me, hit me like a sledgehammer.  (I wish I could find it because she would say it much better than my version would repeat.)  She reminded me that the ultimate issue I would have to deal with was GOD’s sovereignty.
He could have saved my dad.  He could have kept him from dying…or provided a way for him to be found in time to save his life…but He didn’t!  I was going to have to deal with His present plan for my life…that of living without my dad!  I also needed to deal with the fact that ultimately, I was angry at GOD for taking my dad!  Ugh!  Talk about being in a scary position.
I didn’t want to do that!  I wanted to argue with GOD about why He didn’t do this scenario or that one.
But I couldn’t argue with Elisabeth Eliot.  This was a woman whose husband had been murdered when I was in sixth grade with a group of 5 men who went to the Auca indians with the gospel.  She was left with an almost 2 yr. old daughter.  A short time later, she returned to that very group of people to work with the translator sister of one of the other men to minister to the very people who had murdered her husband.  Her toddler daughter grew up with them and their children.

Years later, Elisabeth remarried and lived in the northeast but after a few years, her professor husband died of cancer.  A few years later, she remarried again and has been married to Lars Gren for quite a few years since.  I’m telling you some of her story to give perspective.  This woman has been through death and difficulty.  I couldn’t argue with her.  She had traveled this path before.  She knew what she was talking about. She wasn’t talking about the sovereignty of GOD lightly.
Sometime later, I read Joni E. Tada.  If you have never read any of her books on suffering, take time to do it.  She is immensely grounded in Scripture!  She knows what she is talking about!  She is now 60.  She has been a quadriplegic since the age of 17!
Her comments re God’s sovereignty have also been helpful!  “God wasn’t blinking or looking the other way when I dived into the water and broke my neck!  He was there.  This was not plan B for my life.  It was plan A.”   That is quite a statement for someone who was very athletic and active until a broken neck changed her life completely!
She has been able to live a joyful life in her wheelchair for 45 years, not because she understands all the reasons why GOD did this, but because she has trusted herself to His sovereign plan for her life.  No, it isn’t the one she would have chosen, but it is the one GOD chose for her and it is good.
We often get so tangled up in the why’s of what has happened or the rush to blame someone for why the plan didn’t work out the way we would have liked.  Sometimes, we have failed, but

 GOD is bigger than our failures.  

During a time of rebellion, we married a non-christian spouse; we had a child out of wedlock; we are self-righteous; we…fill in the blank.

If we can’t hang onto the fact that GOD is sovereign, in all circumstances, even over our failures, then He isn’t GOD!

He has not only our lives, but the lives of all the generations on earth planned out.  We either have to believe He is GOD or He isn’t.
From there, we must trust Him with the plan He has for us.  When we don’t know what direction to go, we follow Him, knowing He is good and wise and SOVEREIGN over all!  The outcome may not always be the one we think we would have wanted, but choosing to go in GOD’s way is always the best way to go!

As I trust this sovereign GOD who is perfect, good, loving, just, infinite, eternal, it puts me in my place.

I don’t have enough information to plan.  GOD does.  I need to walk by faith and trust the GOD who is guiding me.  He knows the way I take.  He knows me!  When it all boils down, He knows better than I do what is best for me.
For I know the plans I have for you,
declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil, 
to give you a future and a hope.  
Jeremiah 29:11