June 04, 2014

Did God Lose Control?

Romans 8:18-25

The creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it…
—Romans 8:20


In William Faulkner’s play Requiem for a Nun, one of the main characters says that after God created everything, he lost control. Things got out of hand, and there was nothing God could do about it.

Sometimes it seems like that is true. On a typical day, news headlines could report chaos in Cairo; civil war in Syria, with thousands killed and a million children in refugee camps; hunger, poverty, and persecution in many countries; flash floods in Europe; and typhoons in the South Pacific. The list is endless.

There is no doubt that God’s beautiful creation is groaning, and God’s creatures are groaning because of what is happening everywhere. It raises all kinds of questions: Has God lost control? Does God know and care? And if he does care, why does he allow bad things to happen?

There is no easy answer to these questions. God gives no explanation. The only way to make sense of what is happening all around us is to have an open Bible handy as we read, hear, or view the news. Make sure that when you check up on the news, you also read the last part of Romans 8 and Isaiah 40. There you will find that even today the Lord is in control of all that’s happening and will work out his purposes for us and the world he has made.

Father in heaven, we often wonder about everything that is happening in our world today. Help us to trust that you are in complete control. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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