This morning I’m pondering the great mystery of how God’s sovereignty works in and around our personal choices to fulfil His gracious plan in our lives and in the world.
This thought comes to me as I open my Bible and flip past the page that lists all the books that tell of Israel’s history.
Joshua, Judges, Ruth.
Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther.
Stories rich with evidence of God’s compassionate determination to work salvation for us “in and around” our circumstances, our mistakes, our evil inclinations.
My heart swells with praise.
It occurs to me, as I prepare to write today, that more of those kinds of stories need to be told, so that others can come to know this wonderful Creator. I turn to the Psalms, with a sense that God will lead me to a passage that relates to the thoughts I suspect He has just placed in my mind.
My eyes fall on Psalm 77. It begins with lament. “I cried out to God for help, I cried out to God to hear me.”
The Psalmist then asks himself some really hard questions. You can hear the moan behind them.
Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
Has his promise failed for all time?
Has God forgotten to be merciful?
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?
Through the moaning pain of Asaph, God leads us to the truth:
The Lord will never reject us.
He shows his favor, over and over and over again.
His love is unfailing. It cannot vanish. Ever.
His promises will be fulfilled—all of them, gloriously.
He will never forget to be merciful.
He will pour out his compassion on us forever.
I’m surprised this Psalm doesn’t talk about proclaiming His goodness to others. I’d half expected it to, considering the thoughts I’d had before reading it. I reach for the page, to turn back to the beginning, to read again, and Psalm 78 catches my eye.
I will open my mouth with a parable; I will teach you lessons from the past—things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.
So I begin my writing today, telling more of the Zinovy parable, trusting that Zinovy’s God will take my ideas and weave them into another story of His mercy and compassion. A story future generations will read. A story of the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power and the wonders he has done.
Yes, Zinovy's story is fiction, and it's set in the future, not the past, but it's full of truth about God's unfailing love. Zinovy's story demonstrates how God, in his sovereignty, works in and around our circumstances and our choices, to fulfil His loving purposes.