Friday, November 8, 2013

Is God Surprised?

Itanda Falls on the Nile River - an incredible display of God's power and sovereignty.

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them." - Romans 8:28, NLT

Multiple times in the last several weeks I have found myself shaking my head - questioning, wondering, in frustration. How? Why? Who?

Recently we have had numerous snake sightings, subsequent killings and unfortunately three people bitten by cobras. One little girl died because the right help was not sought in time. One man's life was spared and he later gave his life to Christ - hallelujah! I shake my head at these slimy threats that lie at our very doors, but also at God's amazing protection. In the past week three snakes were killed on the SHIM compound - one each in the Smith home and the O's home, and one just outside the Smith's place.

This week one of our secondary teachers was dismissed because of improper conduct. As his story continues to unravel I shake my head. I trusted and respected this man and yet he had been living a life of lies for sometime. How could I be so fooled? How could he, even after being warned multiple times, defend his actions? How could he continue to claim to be a believer?

Last night I heard of island women who are beginning to understand the Biblical culture and how different it can be from their own. Mothers who are seeing the value of loving and respecting their children and not abusing them in speech, neglecting them, or tying them and then beating them. Wives who are comprehending what it means to care for a husband and not just to live as two individuals under the same roof. I praise God He is opening their eyes to His view and value of relationships.

In the midst of all this I have been listening to sermons from home, taken from the end of Romans 8, one of my favorite passages.

The verse I opened with is the pinnacle in this climatic description of God's incredible love for His children, found in verses 31-39.

So, if God works everything  for the good of those who love Him, does that also apply to the aforementioned situations? Was He taken by surprise at any of this? To the first question a resounding yes and to the second an emphatic no.

As I have rested in this incredible knowledge that God is supremely sovereign and most powerful over all and at the same time is intimately aware of every aspect and atom of His creation, I have been filled with His abiding peace.

There is a confident assurance that yes, God, is very much at the wheel and He can miraculously turn disappointing, hurtful, lousy, and otherwise bad situations into good - for His glory and for our good. Hallelujah!!

I don't know what you are passing through right now, but let me encourage you to remember, dwell on and stake your faith on the fact that our God is in control and He is on your side.

And, for further encouragement, read the entirety of Romans 8:31-39. :)


  1. Miss Ruthie -

    It's amazing how God's Truth and Love has the capacity to infiltrate and influence cultures, no matter how varied and entangled the rituals and history of the peoples.

    And the snake... yikers and wow all at once.


    1. Miss Darlene, it is so true - I am reminded and at the same amazed how God's love crosses all cultures and all situations and can reach all people. Thanks for commenting! :)

  2. I love the end of Romans 8. And this has been a hard couple of weeks for me as well, so thank you for passing on the encouragement and confident assurance that you have received in the midst of darkness. Praying for you guys!

  3. Those moments where you discover someone is living a lie, someone that you trusted, are so heart-breaking and world-shattering. They cause me, however, to take my focus off of imperfect men and women and put it on God where it should have been in the first place. Thanks for this heartfelt post!

  4. Mikaela, I am glad you were encouraged, even in the midst of your hard weeks. I pray you are continuing to find and rest in the abiding hope of Jesus and His incredible love for you. Thank you for your prayers, too!