We fast and pray on Mondays at lunch for men, for women and for marriages to those who desire them. This week, our friend Heidi is our guest blogger – many thanks, Heidi, and hope her reflections bring encouragement to each of us.
I don’t know about you, but while growing up, I often heard people in church talk about God’s sovereignty and trusting in His sovereignty. I never really understood what that word meant until years later. I now know the definition of the word: God’s ways are higher than mine; He has supreme rule and authority over my life. But just because I now know the definition doesn’t mean that I fully trust in this aspect of who God is.
As Christians, I feel like we often whip out these “Christianese” terms to make people feel better or to give a solution for an issue, but when it comes to our own lives we struggle to trust in those aspects of who God is. There’s a recent song entitled ‘Sovereign Over Us’ by Michael W Smith that speaks to this. (If you haven’t heard this song, I recommend you stop right now and take a listen before reading on.)
I’ve come to love and hate this song. I love it because I know it’s true; it speaks into the very depths of who God is and an aspect of His relationship with us. I hate it because singing it or agreeing with the lyrics indicates that I fully trust God’s authority and rule over my life – no matter what comes in my life. And honestly, I really struggle to trust Him when things hurt, don’t make sense, and are a struggle. My human brain often can’t wrap around the fact that God loves me and is sovereign even when life isn’t handing me the greatest cards. I know the truth in my head, but getting it to resonate in my heart is harder.
The lyrics to this song cause me to ask some questions of myself – feel free to ask yourself the same ones:
- Do I truly find strength in Him during my times of sorrow?
- Do I allow His love to cast out my fear?
- Do I allow God to meet me in my mourning, or do I instead blame Him, get angry at Him or push Him away?
- He’s teaching me to trust – am I teachable?
- Can I sing the chorus with my whole heart and soul, trusting that He really does have amazing plans for my life?
Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us.
Do we really believe the words to this song? Maybe you’re in a really great place right now and it’s easy for you to say ‘Of course, yes, I absolutely believe and trust the words to this song.’ – That’s great!
But when you’re not in such a great place? When you’re turning 30, 40, or 60 years old and still single? When someone close to you dies? When you are jobless and struggling to make ends meet? Here’s a painful one – when the person you’ve been dating (and are looking to marry) breaks up with you? What then? Do you still believe in the depths of your soul that God is sovereign? Do you truly choose to trust Him in those moments?
That’s my desire – to trust Him and His sovereignty, no matter the situation or circumstance. Notice I said it’s my ‘desire’ – I’m not perfect and there are times I fail to truly trust Him and His sovereignty but I want to be able to do so. To that end, sometimes we need to ask Him to cause us to trust Him and make us believe in His sovereignty. Often when the pain comes, we don’t have it in ourselves trust Him, but we can ask Him to do it for us.
I remember a time about a year ago when I experienced one of those ‘punched in the gut’ moments. The pain just washed over me, the questions swarmed in my head, and none of it made sense in my little feeble mind. I very vividly remember texting a few close friends and asking them to pray for me. I also asked them not to call, as I knew I needed to spend time with my Father as I processed the pain. I sat on my bed in a mess of tears and confusion, I yelled out to my Daddy: ‘Lord – make me trust You, remind me that it’s ok. Remind me that I can trust You, tell me it’ll be ok.’ And yes – I yelled it. I was almost demanding it of God because my desire was to trust Him, but in that moment I had no ability to bring that trust forth in the midst of the pain.
May we trust His sovereignty this week. May we be able to sing this song with all of our heart and soul and believe every word of the lyrics. And when the pain buries our ability to trust, may we cry out to God by begging Him to provide for us what we can’t provide for ourselves.
Friends – God loves you so very, very much. His desire for your life is to bring good out of the bad; we must learn to trust Him and His sovereignty over our lives.