My seminary roommate and I had great late-night discussions that sometimes seemed to morph into seminars. Oh if I could only read transcripts of those conversations today! I suspect I would shake my head and chuckle.
We often returned to the subject of the sovereignty of God. I was annoyed at the thought that God directed my steps without my knowledge, that He used me for his purposes without my awareness or consent. This made me a bit… huffy. How could He do that?
Yet now I find deep comfort in trusting that His wisdom, goodness, beauty, power, grace, mercy (on and on!) have sway over the smallness of my scope. Who better to take my wee story and write it into His eternal epic? I gladly, gratefully yield to His will, His works, and His ways. I have confidence that God knows what He’s about. *
Sometimes, at the end of a day, I wonder what was the most significant thing I did, event that happened, or interaction I had that day. I conclude that my perspective is so limited that I do not know what was most important. I trust that God knows even if I don’t.
Rahab and Ruth never expected to be in the lineage of the Son of God. Zechariah was simply showing up for his turn in the temple when an angel showed up too, announcing old Zechariah and old wife would have a baby! Augustus Caesar sent out a decree to tax the world, and ended up fulfilling a prophecy. Yet God was at work in all of these people and situations. Because of them. In spite of them.
David trustingly said, “My times are in Your hands” (Psalm 31:15). Paul remarked that God “…determined allotted periods and the boundaries of [people’s] dwelling place” (Acts 17:26). He had them where they needed to be, and led them to do what needed doing. I believe He is doing that same thing with us even now!
This Advent, we consider those people who were contributors or witnesses to the first chapters of the greatest story ever told. I doubt that any of them would expect to be mentioned here. I marvel at the work of God. Let us consider “the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4) together! See how He sends forth His Son!
*“God knows what He’s about” is the final line of a poem well worth googling!
Dr. Shawn Shannon
Spiritual Life Director, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor