Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lord of the Unpredictable

From July 11, 2010

God of our fathers,

You are Lord of the unpredictable, Master of the improbable, the Author of the unlikely, and God of the impossible. Who else but You would have selected David from among all His brothers, and who would have opted to name a Moabite and a prostitute among Your Son’s forebears? You alone would use pagan kings to chastise wayward Israel, and surely You alone would have presided over Satan’s torment of Job. None but You would have singled out Saul of Tarsus as the best man to write half the books of the New Testament, and only You would ordain the blood of the martyrs as the seed of Your church. Truly You have decreed Your eternal purpose according to the council of Your own will, and we can but keep silent. For Your own glory have You foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, and we can but lay our hands to our mouths… because it almost never looks the way we would have anticipated it.

Yet despite Your unpredictability, You assure us that You are the same yesterday, today, and forever; the One Who is and was and Who is to come. You are the First and Last, the God Who faints not and Who has ordained the end from the very beginning!

So grant us a healthy fear of Your sovereignty! But not the sniveling fear of idolaters or the cowardly fear of tyrants. Grant us the dominion-taking, confident fear of the humble; the jubilant, courageous fear of the upright in heart! For these juxtapositions sound very strange in our ears. And You alone, the awe-inspiring God of the impossible, can fill us with the humble confidence that comes from bearing Your name.

Remind us each day, Father, when our circumstances tempt us to fret, that Your ways are not our ways, nor Your thoughts our thoughts. For You have chosen the foolish things of the earth to confound the wise, weak things to defeat the mighty, and the base and despised things of the world to bring the pride of the nations to nothing. Even as was so magnificently demonstrated by an apparently normal Jewish carpenter when He taught His disciples to pray, saying…