(3 minutes, 30 seconds reading time…)
It’s easy to wonder if God is in control when the world seems so out of control. As a devoted follower of Jesus Christ, it’s easy to fear what is happening when anti-Christian ideas float fast, furious and unanswered on social media. But while things look crazy on the outside, do not fear – God is in control.
That statement is not just an empty sentence either. It’s vital to remember that God is the eternal, self-existent Being. He is uncreated, the foundation of all cause and effect, the Necessary Being and that means He exists outside of time and space. He is the Creator of time and space and because He is the Maker, His perception of time is one eternal NOW. This means He sees both the creation event and the wrap-up of history. He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end. That’s a tricky concept to understand since we exist within time – but think of it this way: Imagine a tunnel in a hillside and you stand inside the tunnel looking out. In front of the tunnel is a train track with a train passing. Each train car is a moment in time moving from future to past. From your perspective within the tunnel, you can only see the train car directly in front of you. You may get a hint of what the next train car is going to look like and you may even be able to predict, with some accuracy, what the next car will be like (since, for instance, you’ve seen a group of oil tankers, you think the next car may be an oil tanker also).
Now imagine standing on the top of the hillside. From that point of view, you can see the entire train at one time. Since you’re up higher, you can see the engine and the caboose – all at once. In a similar way, God views all of time laid out before Him like one mighty train – but He is high enough to see them all at once. This is why the Bible tells us in Isaiah 44:6: “This is what the Lord says – Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.”
Another way to think of it would be to imagine a hand-threaded, intricate, beautifully designed tapestry hanging on a castle wall. The design on the front is remarkable – every part of the design connects, no one part is unnecessary, and everything flows together. On the backside, however, no one can make out the design that is seen on the front. On the backside is only a mess of tangled threads. This is because the designer drew the threads in from the front side and then tied them together, one at a time. In some cases, the designer connected a thread to another to create tension. In another case a thread is alone but has several knots to hold it in place. Still another thread is connected to two or three others so that one pulls against the other to hold it in place. Thousands upon thousands of threads, all knotted and twisted into a massive carpet of colors. Yet, what looks on the backside like a crazy disaster is what is necessary to make the design come clear on the front side – but only the designer can make sense of the backside of the tapestry. In the same way, every event in time is like the threads on the backside of the tapestry. In our time we cannot always see why one event effects another, we cannot always know why the Designer ties on event to another or leaves some things alone. We cannot always see why God, the Designer, intervenes in one situation but not in another.
Faith is recognizing that God is the eternal Being, that He has absolute knowledge of time from beginning to end and then resting in that knowledge. Faith is believing that God has a reason for tying off one event but letting another play out, just as the tapestry designer may pull one thread but not another. Whenever you don’t understand the circumstances within your limited point of view, decide to trust that God is in control, He has an ultimate design and you are a valued part of it.
Just something to think about…