The Battle With God (From Chapter 13: Our Battle With a Sovereign God)

One of the long running debates between me and my mother is the debate over God’s sovereignty. My mom believes in sovereignty, just not in the same way I do. Over the years, we have argued back and forth on the topic. I always thought I had a better grasp on God’s sovereignty. God is in control of what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. Nothing can stop His plans and purposes. My mom agreed but always felt like she needed to add this: We can still alter His plan for us through disobedience.
Then, on September 11, 2001, planes were used as weapons in the worst attack on United States soil. By the end of the day, two 110 story buildings collapsed in New York City and smoke continued to rise from a hole in the Pentagon. For two days commercial airlines ceased to fly at all. And, when flights resumed, the country was scared to fly.
I had plane tickets to fly from Texas to Utah to meet up with my family that Thanksgiving. My mom also had tickets to fly to Utah from Atlanta. Needless to say, we were nervous about flying. My nervousness turned to outright fear on November 12, 2001, when an American Airlines flight crashed into a Queens neighborhood, killing all on board.
Before the investigation was complete (it was later ruled a mechanical failure), I called my mom and told her I was considering eating the cost of the tickets and staying home. She said that she would not even consider it. “If it is my time to go, it is my time. I’m not going to let this stop me,” she said.
As I later reflected on that conversation, I concluded my mom’s view of sovereignty was closer to my view than she led on. I also concluded that sovereignty impacted her life at a much deeper level than it did mine. I said I believed God controlled everything but was still afraid to get on a plane. I cowered at danger instead of living confidently in God’s hands. I have to be honest, if it hadn’t been for my mom, I would not have flown that fall.

It is one thing to say God is in control. It is another thing altogether to live like it. The struggle with God’s control is not merely intellectual; it is personal. It has real world implications in everything we do. Our understanding and acceptance of sovereignty will either provide peace or anxiety, boldness or fear, confidence or uncertainty.


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