reading more in desiring god.

May 31, 2008

Today, while sitting on the beach listening to the waves crash in, I read along in the book I have been discussing…see previous entries as well as current reading list. The chapter I was reading on was discussing the sovereignty of God and how everything both good and bad comes from Him and brings Him Glory. Did you catch that? Everything…both good and bad. Now, I have heard some atheists or non-christians use this to pin God as a murdering tyrant….are you kidding me? I think this one little section in this book lays this subject out as well as anything. Piper used writings from the great pastor and profound theologian, Jonathan Edwards, as well as his own paraphrase to come to a phenomenal conclusion. Piper writes:

Edwards did not claim to exhaust the mystery here (of God’s sovereignty). But he does help to find a possible way of avoiding contradiction while being faithful to the Scriptures (which is a good thing when dealing with a lost person or an atheist looking for a good fight). To put it in my own words, he said that the infinite complexity of the divine mind is such that God has the capacity to look at the world through two lenses. He can look through a narrow lens or through a wide-angle lens.
When God looks at a painful or wicked event through His narrow lens, He sees the tragedy of the sin for what it is in itself, and He is angered and grieved: “I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 18:32).

But when God looks at a painful or wicked event through His wide-angled lens. He sees the tragedy of the sin in relation to everything leading up to it and everything flowing out from it. He sees it in relation to all the connections and effects that form a pattern, or mosaic, stretching into eternity. This mosaic in all its parts – good and evil – brings Him delight.

Piper goes on to remind us that God pioneered our very salvation through His sons suffering…good point. When reading this, the first thing that popped into my mind was something that is still very fresh in my thoughts…the tragedy surrounding Steven Curtis Chapman‘s daughter, Maria. Everyone, including myself, have looked at this and said Why? Why this innocent little girl? And the truth is, we may not and probably won’t know on earth why. But let me submit to you again what Piper is trying to get through to us. First of all, lets try to look at this through God’s narrow lens. This had to break the very heart of God as it did ours…enough said. Now, lets look at it through his wide angle lens and try, try to see the tragedy in relation to what leads into it and what flows out of it. The Chapmans have dedicated the last many years of their lives to adoption and helping people who want to adopt do so. Even little Maria is adopted. If it wasn’t for their vision of Shaohannah’s Hope, Maria wouldn’t have been their daughter. Now this happens and it’s terrible so what do they do but request that people give to Shaohannah’s Hope instead of condolences of flowers, etc. so that more children like Maria can be adopted by families who want them but need help. I can only imagine the amount of money that has poured into this great organization since this event occured. This leads me to believe that more families who want children will be helped in this long, difficult process called adoption because what Shaohannah’s Hope does is helps couples with the financial strains of adoption along with many other aspects. Now, this brings glory to God. Our manager, April, and her husband, Greg, have applied for a grant from Shaohannah’s Hope because they are trying to adopt Chloe. Hopefully, somehow, they will…soon. This is just one of MANY things that may and can come from this awful event…hopefully, souls were and will be saved when looking at this child’s life.

Now, I am NOT by any stretch of the imagination trying to say that this is why what happened did happen nor I am trying to make this make sense for anyone. This was just the first thing I thought of when reading about how all things come from and are made to glorify God. For me, this really put this fact into perspective and made me want to always try to look at my life through both God’s lenses.


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