Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Constant Struggle With Sovereignty and Providence

Without getting into too many personal specifics right now, I want to be honest enough to admit that I am in a constant struggle with sovereignty and providence. If God is sovereign, then He knows everything that will happen and when they will happen, but I often wonder why He would let certain things happen because He has the power to stop the bad things from happening, yet He doesn't? And if providence is God working things out for the good of those people He predestined to be His, then where do the bad things come in? Why does He allow them?

Please understand that I am not asking why He let me have an immune deficiency that has no cure or treatment. Grant it, to this day I still say that if only it had been cancer at least I would have SOME choice in the matter because cancer can be treated. But I am not talking about that.

I am talking about, and this is where it starts to get personal, child abuse. If God is sovereign and provident, then why is there any child abuse happening? What good can come out of child abuse? Look at the former victims of child abuse, especially the girls who were abused by their human fathers. A lifetime of scars and brokenness, lack of trust, suspicions, relational difficulties to battle and overcome on top of working out faith and understanding that God is a Father? Where is the providence in that?

I have been reminded many times by the "fatherly" men in my life that for a father to abuse their daughter is to set the daughter up for failure when it comes to understanding men and how they relate to them. This can make things difficult in the love department as the girl wrestles with whether she should tell the prospective suitor about the abuse. It's emotional baggage. And from personal experience, it can lead to the breaking of many a relationship. Not that I have THAT much personal experience, but I have had one guy friend who I got close too and had told. Surprisingly, he did not run away until after a letter he sent me that summer while I was at school and he was at home in which he brought up the word intimate to describe the type of friendship he wanted with me and that word threw me. He called me almost every day. People thought we were dating. I got scared. I called a cooling off for the time period he went on vacation. Toward the end of that summer I told him that I was afraid to continue in the relationship unless we were on the same page about what we both wanted - where we wanted the relationship to go. He couldn't decide. It hurt when he broke off the friendship and then made a professional threat against me, but it was probably the best thing for me. If two people cannot concur on where they want a relationship to go, then it may not be a healthy relationship.

Then again, what exactly is a HEALTHY relationship? When a person comes from a long line of broken relationships, how can they know what a truly healthy relationship is?

It goes back to my struggle with God's sovereignty and providence. Don't misunderstand me when I admit to having that struggle. I'm not saying I don't believe in it. I do believe. But I have a hard time understanding and grasping it.

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