Is God in Control?

Here is a quote from When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Estes:

“God clearly claims to run the world–not “could” run it if he wanted to or “can” step in when he has to but does run it–all the time.  Even when it sins.  Even when we suffer.  He claims that nothing touches us without first receiving his nod and that “All the days ordained for me were written in [his] book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16).  He says without blushing, “Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?” (Lamentations 3:38).

Yet here’s the wonder.  He claims to do all this without forcing our hands, bypassing our wills, or making us less than human.  When it comes to the physical world, his working is so discreet, so regular that normally we can’t tell he’s involved.  In fact, the so-called “laws of nature” are merely our descriptions of his usual dealings.

Thus according to the Bible, when people sin against us they alone bear responsibility, and God will one day judge them.  when hurricanes strike, it’s not irreligious for the National Hurricane Center to give a scientific explanation.  When disease stalks, there’s a traceable medical reason.  When animals cause problems, they’re acting on instinct.  When accidents hapen, it’s okay to call them accidents–even the Bible does.  When babies die and whole populations starve and cocaine junkies blow away frightened convenience-store clerks, God weeps for his world.  All these things are true.  But the Bible insists on another truth simultaneously. All during these sins, typhoons, illnesses, mishaps, snake bites, crib deaths, famines, and gas-station robberies–God hasn’t taken his hand off the wheel for thirty seconds.  His plans are being accomplished despite, yes, even through, these tragedies. They are tragedies.  He considers them so.  He loathes the wickedness and misery and destruction itself–but he has determined to steer what he hates, to accomplish what he loves.

(p 68-69)

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