I love to run. It is a passion of mine. A while back I was listening to one of my favorite preachers, Mark Driscoll, and he said something that has drastically affected my life. Mark said, “Redeem you time”. Simple yes, but profound. So on most of my runs instead of listening to music, I listen to some of the best preachers from around the nation. Once again a simple change, but I have been amazed at how God has used this simple change to grow me spiritually. Now as I am running I have what I call, “God moments”. In these moments God clearly speaks to me as the rest of the world is tuned out. There are times on my runs that these messages stir me so much that I begin to run faster, I go farther, I become so broken that I have to stop and pray, or I become so stirred to action that I come home and share with Stacy what God is doing. Today I had a different kind of God moment though.
Today I was listening to a great man of God, Tim Keller of Redeemer Church in New York, and he was speaking out of the book of Proverbs. Tim spoke about the absolute sovereignty of God, the choices he gives man, how God uses those choices, and how continually brings us closer to a place where we trust God with everything.
As I have touched on in the past while I was in Tucson, AZ I lost almost everything; my wife and daughter, my ministry, everything that means anything to me. I put it all on the line with my selfishness, my neglect of my relationship with God, and sinful behavior. As Tim was speaking it hit me; if I truly believe God to be the completely sovereign, omniscient, which means all knowing, God that he is then he knew everything that would happen in Tucson before I was born. God knew when he led Stacy and I to serve him there in Tucson that we would forsake him, yet he still led us there. He led me there knowing the evil I would do and cause, yet he also knew the miracle of a healed marriage and life. He also knew that by taking me there that I would be more humbled before him and that I would be considerably more useable. He knew that coming out of the other side of Tucson that I would love my wife and be more dedicated to her than ever before.
The Bible recounts the life of a man named Joseph in the book of Genesis. All kinds of evil befalls Joseph, and God is seemingly quite through all of it. It is only in the end, when Joseph is reunited with his family, and God has used him to save his people and many others that Joseph sees that God used all the evil of man to bring about His divine purposes.
Going through our life in Tucson I did not understand why God had taken us into the desert. I still have little understanding of the complete sovereignty of God, yet he still somehow allows for mans free will. I do know however that God took us to the desert, and he rescued, grew, and is healing us. I cannot say for sure that He we will not lead us into some kind of desert again, but I know today I grew in my trust a little bit more.
Today I came to the revelation that God has worked in my life in a similar way to that of Joseph’s. Today I know a little bit better that I serve a completely sovereign God and that he uses all things, good and evil, as he works his divine plan within humanity. Today as I was running I stopped and thanked the sovereign God for who he is and that nothing catches him by surprise. I then prayed and asked him to help me trust him a little bit more and to come to a place where I trust him with everything. Amen.