An Author’s Perspective on God’s Sovereignty
Writing is a great job. There’s nothing quite like the experience of creating characters and letting them loose in their beautiful new world, watching them come to life on the page as they take the bare bones of the plot and turn it into a living tale. As the author, I strive to know every little detail, carefully planning the story so it results in the characters’ positive growth. But why does this make me so satisfied? What is it about a happy ending that creates a warm feeling in my heart? Why do I find pleasure in tying all the little details together to create one harmonious story? It’s only recently that I’ve begun to realize why: In creating a story, I gain a greater understanding of the Author of my own story.
In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul writes, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) This is an incredible verse, assuring us that God has a plan. But even more than that, it shows just how much He cares about our lives. He has a detailed outline of our story, with all the plot points perfectly laid out. He knows exactly which events need to take place in order to bring us to the next part of the story. All of it is working towards an amazing climax, and the resolution will be the most beautiful part. During the rising action, He has all our works planned out, and He is an expert at getting us from one scene to the next. Sometimes we have to go through rough times. But what’s a story without conflict? The best books are those that bring characters to the point of despair, only to bring them out again to a place of victory. It’s the characters who keep going even in the midst of hopelessness that inspire us, because we know that eventually, they’re going to triumph. All the difficulties they experience serve to make the conclusion all the more beautiful.
As an author, I become greatly attached to my characters. I love them, and putting them through difficult situations can be hard. But because I know where they’re going to end up, I don’t have to worry about them. In fact, I know that their hardships are only going to help them grow. From their point of view, everything is a disaster; but I, the author, know the whole plan. I know that these difficulties won’t last, that before long the characters will emerge stronger and in a better world. I am never worried about what will happen, because I already know the ending.
This is exactly the point of view God has of us. As long as the world has existed, He has had a plan for the greatest story of all time. It began a long time ago, and now we’re living in the middle. This is the time when all the exciting things happen, when the plot advances and thickens and sometimes seems hopeless. But though all we can see is the craziness, God sees the ending. He knows the inciting incidents, climaxes, and resolutions of each of our individual stories, and He’s working the details together to create one giant story that encompasses all of history.
One Bible passage that speaks directly to this idea is Psalm 66:10-12. Here, the psalmist writes, “For You, O God, have tested us; You have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; You laid a crushing burden on our backs; You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet You have brought us out to a place of abundance.” It’s God Who brings us through what we see as horrible situations. And it’s God Who takes us out of them again, leading us into a place of abundance. From this passage, it is clear that He is in control of our story.
It’s true that the rising action of our story is often horrific. There are many things we just don’t want to experience, times when all we want is to turn back, moments where we think all hope is absolutely gone. But don’t lose heart; God is an incredible author! The climax is coming, when He will finally return and fight the final battle against Satan. And then comes the resolution, when we who have trusted Him with our lives will finally receive our inheritance and reign with Him for all eternity. So even though things may look bleak from where we are right now, we can still have confidence in our Author. He hasn’t stopped writing; He’s just working His way towards the end. And what a wonderful ending it will be!