Here is where your proud waves halt
My 12 year old son Joel got his left hand caught in a treadmill Saturday night. He’s having surgery Wednesday morning to graft skin back on to the palm side of his 3rd, 4th, and 5th fingers. Thankfully, there appears at this time to be no tendon or nerve or artery damage.
Now as theists, we believe that God from all eternity ordains whatsoever comes to pass. It was God’s will for Joel to get his hand caught in a treadmill. But it was also God who provided that Joel was able to reach the safety key and stop the treadmill after his hand was caught. It was as though God who says to the oceans, “Thus far and no further, here is where your proud waves halt,” said also to the treadmill, “Thus far and no further.”
God not only allows our sufferings, he precisely apportions them. This is a hard truth, for I would have to affirm it even if he lost his whole hand, or I lost my whole son.
But what if it wasn’t true? What if God wasn’t in control of the exact measure of our afflictions? What if our sufferings were truly random and limitless? What comfort would there be in that? How would I then be able to believe that God works all things for the good of those who love him?
Everyone tries to comfort themselves in times of affliction by thinking, “It could have been worse.” But as Katie and I prayed together Saturday night, God made me mindful of his own restraining hand and it gave a new meaning to that rather godless and impersonal maxim. As I said in a previous post, God sits like a refiner over a crucible and carefully attends to the exact amount of heat he adds to our lives.