Continual Reminders of God's Sovereignty


I (Hart) shared on here the other day my thoughts from the initial 36 hours after having a bomb dropped in our life (for the 2nd time). In that post I hinted some at the pain and anger and doubt and other emotions I was feeling, but I also shared how God has been relentless in His pursuit of us and I shared some examples. Well, He has continued doing that, so I thought I would share some more examples. These posts are partly for my benefit...something I have to look back on to read and reflect on. But also my hope is for your benefit too. We aren't meant to walk through this life alone. So I want to share the good, the bad and the ugly so that you might know you're not alone, and maybe you'll be encouraged too.

Basically, there are 4 ways I want to share about how God has been reminding us these last few days He's in control.

First, God has been gracious and encouraging to us through His word and the words of others. It's been special how specific texts in scripture keep popping up that bring encouragement and refreshment to our souls. It's also been incredible how the devotionals we have and are working through time after time end up being exactly what we need to hear. We've really benefited from Paul Tripp's 'New Morning Mercies' devotional, and I know Vanessa has appreciated She Reads Truth. One verse that came on our radar and has been special to us is 2 Corinthians 1:9-10:
Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.
Second, through the prayers and generosity of others. We have been so overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of others. So many people are already praying...I've lost count at this point of all the prayer lists, and prayer groups, and churches in various places around the world that are praying for Judah. Those prayers are so appreciated and were especially needed on our behalf in those first couple days as we were numb and in shock and having a hard time even finding the words to pray. We've received anonymous financial donations from people, we received a letter from Make A Wish SC that included gift cards to Target for Judah to go on a shopping spree, and we've been showered with meals. I was also told yesterday at church about a group of college students from our church working on putting a care package together for us, and we've also been asked to come up with a list of gift cards to places we like / would be practical to have for this upcoming season. Truly blown away at this generosity.

Third, this kind of piggybacks the first point, but it also further demonstrates God's provision and sovereignty, which is why I want to highlight this one. Vanessa had the wonderful idea that we should come up with some fun things to do as a family before transplant. So she talked to Judah to find out some ideas of what he would like to do. One of the things that came up was Judah wanted to go to a place with an indoor pool/waterpark, which led to him wanting to go to Great Wolf Lodge. We've never been to one of these before, but have had friends go before, so it's always been on our list of things we wanted to experience. Anyways, that was just a private conversation we've had in our home and not something we've publicized.

Yesterday, at our church's fall festival (which, btw, was such a fun thing to get to do! Our family decorated our car for the Trunk-or-Treat in a Dude Perfect theme...hence the panda head!). Anyways, at the fall fest I got a phone call. Remember, I don't like talking on the phone, and this was in the middle of our church's fall fest. But the person calling was a friend and he walked this road before and so he was very sympathetic and supportive of our family the last time we dealt with this. Anyways, it was kind of out of the blue that he was calling, so I figured I should take the call. Basically, the gist of the conversation was this. He and his wife have been praying for us, and they had reservations already paid for something, and they had talked it over and wanted to bless our family with it. Initially, he didn't say where this was for as he was telling me all this. But I'm sure you can guess. Yes, that's right. This reservation is for Great Wolf Lodge. I bet you can imagine my jaw dropped in the parking lot in the middle of the fall fest when he said that. How crazy is that!?

Fourth, I mentioned in my last post that I could think of no better place in scripture to be than in Exodus at the parting of the Red Sea. Whoa. The sermon yesterday at our church in that text was exactly what Vanessa and I needed to hear. Some of the things that stood out to me: God led the Israelites to this place. God hardened the heart of Pharaoh. The Israelite's thinking they're free all of a sudden find themselves with a sea in front of them and an army behind them, and their response is anger and bitterness ('Did you lead us out here to the desert because there's not enough graves in Egypt!?') Our God is big and mighty and powerful and nothing is impossible for Him. The biggest reminder for me was this: The text tells us several times that God did this for His glory. God Himself led them to this place and moment. God Himself hardened Pharaoh's heart so that he would pursue them. And we're told He did all this for His glory. He wanted to glorify Himself. He wanted to show the world how big and magnificent and awesome He is. But we are not simply chess pieces in His hand. We are His children and He loves us. His pursuit of His glory is NOT in opposition to our good. His pursuit of His glory is for our good. In this text we are reminded that God is with us, He fights for us, and He makes a way for us.

With it being Reformation Sunday Matt also referenced the reformation and the motto 'Post Tenebras Lux'. That was a phrase from the Reformation period. It's Latin and means 'After darkness light'. It means we are in darkness now, but the light is coming.

I'm really not normally a crier. But I cried at several moments during this sermon as these truths washed over me. You can listen to the sermon here if you'd like. At the end of the service, they brought our family up and the other elders annointed Judah with oil and prayed over him and our family. We are thankful for this church family and their support.

Y'all, these are not coincidences. This is God continuing to chip away at that wall that my flesh wants to build. This is God continuing to pursue us and draw us near to Him. This is God reminding us that He is in control. I don't know what's going to happen. I pray and plead and beg God that this is a "Red Sea" moment and that He is about to do something incredible and heal Judah. But I don't know what He's doing. But I can't ignore all these ways that God continues to display and remind us that He is sovereign and in control. So I continue clinging to those reminders, and to the promise that He's good, He's in control, and He loves us.

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