Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Seeing a More Complete Picture

It seems this year I've been asking a lot of "Why" questions of God. I love Him, I love His Word and my brain understands that He is sovereign, unfailing and always right and true. But then things happen - either to our family, a loved one, or even to a complete stranger on the news - that make me stop and ask, "Really, God? Why did You allow that to happen? And why like that? I don't understand, Lord..."

I admit my shield of faith has taken some dangerously large hits as I've been trying to reconcile the idea of our free will with God's sovereignty. As in: He can stop something awful from happening, but He doesn't always choose to. And while I also know that my lack of understanding does not negate the perfection of God's will and plan for our lives, sometimes it's just plain hard living in a fallen world's imperfection.

However, a friend's recent Facebook status opened my eyes to another side of this story: the times when we are not left asking "Why?", when God does NOT allow tragedy to occur. The times when His plan includes merciful rescue or protection. My friend was visiting the home of a friend that happened to have a pool. Read this in awe: (my friend's daughter, Jenna, is about 2 years old)...

I am very grateful that the Lord was watching over Jenna today. She snuck outside, stripped down naked and jumped in the pool. She does not swim yet. A wonderfully protective black lab named Olivia pulled her out by her hair. Needless to say, she was pretty scared and has no desire to go outside or in the pool now! Thank you Lord for keeping my baby safe!

After reading this with goosebumps and tears, realizing how very close my friend's world had come to complete tragedy, I suddenly felt very foolish before the Lord. As I was praising and thanking Him for saving sweet little Jenna, it occurred to me that I don't thank and praise Him enough for His mercies - known or unknown. I have become so wrapped up with why He didn't act in some situations that I totally missed all the times that He DID. I have been so myopic that I've ignored the bigger of picture of WHO God is rather than what His hand is or is not doing.

I asked my friend's permission to post her story for two reasons:

1) God deserves the highest and utmost praise just because of who He is, but it is right and good to praise and thank Him for saving Jenna! More people that read the story = more praise and glory to God!!! As a mother, especially of a little girl the same age, I literally cannot stop thanking God for allowing the story to end as it did. The alternative is unthinkable. Thank you, Lord!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

2) It really boosted my faith to realize all the good that God is working - in my life, in others' lives and in this world - and I'm sure I don't even know a fraction of it. Just waking up in the morning and taking a breath is something to thank Him for! Maybe someone else out there needed a faith-boost as well, to see beyond the things that make us cry out "Why?" and know that things are happening all day long - whether we're aware of them or not - that require our praise and thanksgiving with just as much passion.

Lord, forgive my near-sightedness! Help me to have eyes that see and ears that hear all the ways you work in and around us!

(By the way, I love how God used a sweet doggie to accomplish His purpose! I'm pretty sure Olivia the Super Black Lab deserves all the belly rubs and doggie treats her little heart desires!!!)