It was Tuesday and I was having a bad day. It seemed like everything was going wrong! As my day went from bad to worse, I became more and more agitated and eventually commented out loud to myself, “I don’t need this!”
A still, small voice in my head said, “Oh, yes you do.” And thus began a deeper exploration of the sovereignty of God in my life; my every day life. My Tuesdays. This particular Tuesday started out with a root canal that was unplanned. I had been having pain in a molar, and had an appointment at the end of the month. But, my pain increased over the weekend and I was popping pain pills like candy, so I called my dentist on Monday and made an appointment for the next day. When I got there that Tuesday morning, he discovered infection and inflammation and had to do a root canal on the spot! Having never had that done before, I was more than a little nervous.
After the root canal, I felt I needed a nap. I was exhausted. It took 2 1/2 hours! But, I only had time to quickly change clothes and get to my part-time job. I got there on time only to be told that my part-time position would more than likely be going full-time. When I enquired of my boss what happens to me if it does go full-time, she proclaimed that the company had no obligation to me....in other words, since I can only work part-time, I was going to lose my job.
Then I opened my email and discovered an email from my husband stating that a property that we thought had sold had not sold after all! We were counting on that sale, and my part-time job, to see us through a particularly difficult financial trial. That’s when I said, “I don’t need this!”
And that’s when I heard, “Oh, yes you do.”
Why would I need that? Why do any of us need the trials that we face every day? Why can’t things just go smoothly and easily for us? It’s easier to serve God when things are going well. We feel happier and like we have more to give. It’s hard to serve God when things are going wrong and the world, or our fellow believers, are taking advantage of us or criticizing us. We know the Scriptures, how that James tells us that “the trying of our faith worketh patience” (James 1:3) and how we are not to think it strange when fiery trials try us (I Peter 5:12). But, I do think we reserve those Scriptures for the big stuff. We don’t apply them to every day life; nor do we always consider the impact the Holy Spirit has on our every day life.
Our trials do not take God by surprise, but our trials are not limited to the big stuff, either. Being stuck in a traffic jam, having an overdrawn bank account, breaking a tooth, having to wait in an incredibly long line at the grocery store, receiving a package you’ve waited a week for only to discover the item damaged, the feeling that no one understands you, loneliness, exchanging harsh words with a friend, children who are demanding and uncooperative.......all these things work patience in us as well. Even if all those things, and more, happen to you all in one day, that does not mean that the sovereignty of God has taken a nap. The opposite is true. It means that the sovereignty of God is well at work in your life. It really means that He loves you more than ever and wants you to grow closer to Him and have more trust in Him.
When I decided to take a closer look at His sovereignty in my every day life, I started with His character. Taking a look at His character helped me get a glimpse of the depth of His wisdom and knowledge of me and my circumstances. The character of God is unchangeable, perfect and always just. We can depend on Him because of His character; because He never changes. He never reacts to us, but He loves us with an everlasting love.
A good place to start understanding what God knows about you is Psalm 139. Read it. Meditate on it. Learn from it. I have listed a few initial observations from this passage, but there are many, many more. Add to my list; create your own as you study out the sovereignty of God in your life. My list:
God has searched us and known us (v 1)
He knows when we sit and when we stand (2).
He discerns our thoughts and He is acquainted with all our ways (3).
He knows our every thought, even before we do! (4).
He has put a hedge of protection around us and laid His hands on us (5).
We learn that we cannot hide from Him (7-12).
He leads us and holds us (10).
We learn that He formed us in our mother’s womb, before our bodies were even formed! (13 - 16).
We learn that He thinks of us constantly and wrote our parts in His book. (17 - 18).
He will slay the wicked (19)
He will search us and try us, and know our hearts, leading us in His everlasting way
(23 - 24)
Do we need more? Won’t that sustain you on a difficult Tuesday? Take God literally. He means what He says and cannot lie. That’s enough to sustain us through a difficult Tuesday at home with the kids, on the job with the boss or even when we are alone and tempted to sin. It’s really just a small token of His unending grace; that wonderful grace that is greater than all our sin.
I kid you not, as I was actually typing this out on my laptop at my dining room
table, (yes, on a Tuesday afternoon), I received an email from a friend that reminded me
of a painful experience in my past, bringing me to tears; and just then, the bread machine
that I had going in the kitchen took a nose-dive off the kitchen counter! It broke into a
hundred pieces with my bread dough still inside! As I stood there in my kitchen looking
at the broken bread machine, I had to laugh out loud. I was not even the least bit tempted
to say, “I don’t need this!” Instead, I laughed and said, “Well, I guess I needed that!” My
Tuesday trust was intact for today. Tomorrow is a new day with new trials. Big or small
it matters not; they are real and they have a purpose and God already knows all about