No doubt, you’ve run across people who believe that the One who created us is too far removed to concern Himself with the tiny details of life. But that is not the case. God’s plan is running its course right on schedule, exactly as He decreed it.
This world is not out of control, spinning wildly through space. Nor are earth’s inhabitants at the mercy of meaningless chaos.
I don’t know why a tornado destroys one neighborhood and not another. I just know that even in this calamity, God’s plan is not frustrated or altered.
He is not sitting on the edge of heaven, wringing His hands, wondering what will happen next. That’s not the God of the Scriptures. Even the pagan king, Nebuchadnezzar, recognized God’s hand at the wheel of His creation:
His rule is everlasting,
and his kingdom is eternal.
All the people of the earth
are nothing compared to him.
He does as he pleases
among the angels of heaven
and among the people of the earth.
No one can stop him or say to him,
‘What do you mean by doing these things?’ (Daniel 4:34b–35 NLT)
We cannot fathom the “Why?” of God’s plan, but we do know that whatever happens is part of His sovereign will. God is in control of all things, and he is not surprised by the events of life under His rule.
Now, as a pastor, this is a tough concept to explain. So my advice is quite simple: quit trying.
Who can know the mind of God? The Lord reminded Isaiah, and He assures us as well, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine” (Isaiah 55:8 NLT).
The decreed will of God is running its course precisely as He arranged it. It’s best we encourage God’s people to leave most of this to mystery.
Still, the truth of God’s sovereign control can be a great comfort, but be sensitive to the moment when you share it with someone in grief.
People in pain need to feel God’s compassionate heart before they grapple with His mysterious plan—let alone, attempt to explain it.
Jesus wept at the graveside of Lazarus before He revealed the purpose of his death (John 11:35).
Bearing sorrow is a pastor’s first call. Then, when the grieving soul is ready, share this truth that the God who weeps is also the God with a steady hand at the helm of the events of their life.