A Prayer for Wrestling with, and Resting in, the Sovereignty of God
Who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’” Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use? Rom. 9:20-21
All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” Dan. 4:35
Gracious Father, this morning I’m pondering the mystery and mercy of your sovereignty, especially as I consider everything you did to redeem rebels and broken people like me. The cross was no accident. It was you who handed over Jesus to wicked men, who put him to death by nailing him to the cross, all according to your set purpose and foreknowledge (Acts 2:23-24).
Indeed, Jesus’ death for us on the cross was no accident or afterthought, Plan B or the redeeming of a good story gone kaput. The comfort and peace I enjoy from this supreme demonstration of your sovereignty is incomparable and immeasurable.
No one could’ve put Jesus on the cross, apart from your will; and though his own disciples tried, no one could have kept him from the cross. Because of the forthcoming joy, Jesus endured the cross for us—scorning its shame and exhausting our guilt (Heb. 12:1-3). We praise you for your incomparable gift of sovereign mercy and might—your eternal wisdom and irrepressible will.
So Father, as I much as I celebrate and find comfort in your sovereignty seen in Jesus’ cross, why would I (do I) struggle with it anywhere else? Why do I, sometimes, want to reverse roles to make me the in-control potter and treat you like malleable clay? Why do I prefer at times to have a Play-Doh or Gumby-god instead of a sovereign Father?
I don’t have any problem with you setting up and sitting down presidents, premiers, and potentates. But when it comes to things that are limiting or inconvenient, or a contradiction of my sensibilities or a derailing of my agenda, I can question your goodness. Free me from such foolishness. You’re always at work for your glory and our good, even when it isn’t apparent or doesn’t seem so.
Father, give me joy in simply being gospel pottery. You’ve placed the incredible treasure of Jesus in this jar of clay to prove your all-surpassing power in making all things new. You are the Potter who is redeeming a pan-national family to inhabit the new heaven and new earth. Let me be humble, grateful and content with my place in that story. Forgive me when I revert back to giving you bit parts in my story. You truly do all things well, and your timing is better than Swiss. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ most glorious and beautiful name.