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If God is Sovereign, I am Infallible

Part of blogging is talking through doubts and questions I don’t quite have figured out yet. This is one of those sorts of posts. Here is what I am struggling with:

  1. jesus-in-space-e1380965701538Everything in our lives is ordained by God
  2. God causes good things and bad things to happen, all for our good and for His glory.
  3. Therefore, other than sins, whatever I choose, it is God’s will.

If I choose path A and it works out, then it is God’s will to bless me. If I choose path B and it does not work out, it is God’s will to grow/humble me. My own fallibility, and ability to make poor judgment calls doesn’t seem to enter the equation. I am incapable of making mistakes.

If God is sovereign, I am infallible.

You would think this would be comforting. But I am hurting, and platitudes are like salt in a wound when you are hurting. Also, it just seems wrong.

We went to sub-saharan Africa and had to come back because of the heat. Why didn’t I see that my wife’s body couldn’t handle the heat? There were hints, there were signs along the way. She always shut down and got flushed & fatigued even in our norther heat. But I missed it. Maybe I could have seen it, maybe I couldn’t have. But am I allowed, in a Christianese setting, to say, “I could have/should have seen it, but I missed it. I was not perceptive enough. I did not ask enough questions. I messed up, and now we’re hurting for it.” Can I say that?

Or do I need to say, “God did this to us. This is His plan. He is the potter, we are the clay. He has a plan in it all…”

Because, honestly, if that was God’s plan, it seems like He could have done better. I can see how God can use my human failings. I can see how God can let us make less-than-ideal choices, then work with what He’s got to grow us and humble us. I can definitely see how this process has humbled me and made me a more “human” and compassionate human being. And I don’t have a problem with God foreseeing it all, or, in some vague cosmic sense, “predestining” all of this.

But I struggle with the idea that God took an eager, energetic young couple and put them through the wash just purely to develop some character benefits in them.

155185-362x331-small-pet-in-an-exercise-ballAnd I struggle with the irrationality of it all. I feel like I’m rolling around in a gerbil ball. Whatever I bump into people are like, “That wasn’t a mistake, that was God’s will!” Ok. Fine. So I cannot make mistakes. That should make me feel better. But it doesn’t.

If I cannot make mistakes, then I cannot improve.
If I cannot make mistakes then I cannot learn.
If I cannot make mistakes then history is doomed to repeat itself.

Regret is not the answer either: and I know I need to stop dwelling on the past and move forwards. But it seems like a crucial key to letting the past go is making sense of it all.

And it does not seem to “make sense” that the bad things that have happened in the past two years have only, entirely, all been “God’s will” for our lives. It seems like we have made some mistakes along the way – like any human would. God has been faithful to teach us through them, and continue to perfect and grow us. But that is not to say that our trajectory was “Plan A” in God’s mind.

Wouldn’t it make more sense to say that we missed Plan A, and ended up on Plan B or even Plan C…but that God in His sovereignty is able to redeem our failings, and make good come of this? And that yes, before time God saw all of this and somehow predestined it to happen. I know we are in some sense here, and not there, doing this and not that, because it is God’s will. But at some point, if we still believe at all in free will, it seems that we need to allow for the possibility of human error in the equation.

But exactly where does that fit?

Just some rambly thoughts on sovereignty and fallibility this sunny Friday morning.

Let me know what you think.

2 Comments »

  1. Yes. This is such a struggle. And all too often this struggle is met with platitudes. Or comments on how wrong it is to question or doubt. I totally follow. I have no answers, maybe it will be helpful to just know you aren’t alone in your musings. And I believe the questioning and doubting is ok, even good.

  2. As I comment you probably immediately will know that I am not that much of a theologian. But as I read your post another thought came to my mind: How can we know God’s will? Can we really be that sure of our understanding of God’s plans and purposes? One scripture comes to my mind: “For we know in part and we prophesy in part.” (1 Corinthians 13,9).
    I was sorry to learn that your plans did not work out as expected. I can relate to this feeling.
    Really I do not know that much about calvinistic theology on God’s sovereignty to fully appreciate your argument. But I understand the human problem.
    Many things have happened in my own life contrary to my expectations and to what I expected to be God’s will for me. As I read your article it also helped me think about my own situation. I come to the feel, probably it is best for me to just accept things as they are. Better for me to think that God somehow is in control and that his plans still are good for me. Better to do that which comes to my hands and to use opportunities that arise.

    Years ago started a Twitter account but rarely looked at it. You have been following me from the start. Today I found out that you are on wordpress too and I checked it out. Sorry, I did not even memorise my full twitter name. It is thokoe and some strange number.
    Greetings and God bless!

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