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How often do we proclaim that God is in control?
How many times (you don’t really have to count) does the Bible tell us that God is in control?
Yet, it seems that too many times we see things happening in the world that would indicate God is not in control. We see good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good ones. We see mass murders, crimes go unpunished, people in positions of authority abuse that authority and no one does anything about it.
The writer of the Book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) asked about these things as well, and his conclusion was that nothing really matters- all our efforts are as useless as chasing the wind. His final statement is that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
With all due respect to the writer of Kohelet, I have the answer to why it seems God is not in control:
Being in Control Doesn’t Mean You’re Controlling Everything
I was in the business world for some 40 plus years and most of that time was in control of something: my own office, a department, a number of different departments, and anywhere from 12 to over 350 people at one time or another. And what I learned from that is when you are the one in charge, to develop your people and give them the skills and understanding that they need to improve themselves, you sometimes have to leave them in control and let them screw up on their own.
Of course, you don’t let them screw up anything really important, or anything that would cause harm to themselves or others, but just let them have their way with the little things and give them the chance to swim, or sink.
And always be there to fish them out if they need you to.
With God and humanity, it is the same. God is in control of everything- there is nothing he cannot do or make happen. But just because he can make anything happen doesn’t mean he will make anything happen. He will often leave us to our own devices to allow us to learn the important lessons we need to learn.
What are those lessons? Well, for one, we need to learn to depend on God and not on our own strength. What better way to do that then leave us alone to totally mess things up to the point where we have to call on him for help?
Another lesson we need to learn is patience, as in waiting on God for justice. What better way to do that than to allow evil to propagate and let us see it happen?
I like to say, “Proverbs 20:22 tells us, ‘Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will avenge you.‘, and sometimes God actually let’s us see that happen.”
One of the most important lessons we need to learn is about forgiveness. How can we learn that unless someone hurts us?
God is unquestionably able to control everything that happens everywhere, but he doesn’t. He controls everything by not controlling everything and allowing us to control those things that will lead us to better understand God, his ways and our role in his plan of salvation.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by those that argue because of all the evil and wrong done in the world God doesn’t exist because if he did, he would not allow it. They just don’t understand how it works. They are trying to box God into their own understanding and desires and that will never work. God is so far above us that we cannot even imagine or ever understand his ways, and we shouldn’t be able to.
I once read that a God who can be understood by the mind of Man is not worthy of the worship of Man. I totally agree.
I am not all that upset when I see the evil that is being done in the world, but it is not because I like or condone it. Just like you, I would love to see evil excised from our lives but it ain’t gonna happen until God is ready to take out his righteous vengeance on the nations. My response to evil is not apathy, but trusting confidence that God will render justice when he is ready, and that his justice will be perfect.
I know that God will let me control whatever things he puts in my power to control, and as long as I try to let God lead me I know he is there waiting to catch me if (and when) I mess up.