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God in Charge

But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” (Jonah 4:10-11 NIV)

In case anyone missed it, we’re finally expecting a child in June, possibly July. Normally, news like this is incredibly joyous, and lots of people are happy to hear it. For a while now, Dan and I have been very honest about how difficult it has been to get this far. We’ve watched so many of our friends and family have children over the years that we (I, specifically) have let bitterness and resentfulness settle into our (my) heart(s) and mind(s). It’s been difficult, even in light of finally expecting a child, to be able to thank God for this pregnancy.

The story of Jonah is the account of God’s love and mercy in the redemption of the city of Nineveh, but it also tells us that God’s grace isn’t for anyone in particular—it’s for everyone. Much like the Lord told Job, God is God, and only God knows what he is doing, or why he’s doing it. Jonah needed to be obedient and patient and remember that the Lord is in charge.

I may not like our current political climate, or global warming, or cancer, or any number of other things, but there are certain areas in which God calls you and me to help be part of real change. If the Lord is truly in charge of these things, he’s also giving us opportunities to help reverse the damage that we and our predecessors have done. We can form a new social movement, find new ways to reduce carbon emissions and dependence on fossil fuels, even send that right person to medical school who will figure out how to cure our ailments!

We don’t need to hold a grudge and claim that the world is what it is and we’d be better off wishing for the Second Coming to come yesterday. In Romans 12:12-13, we are encouraged to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (NIV). No part of this says we should sit ourselves down and sulk about the state of the world that surrounds us.

I am not afraid to confess that I am guilty of sulking. After five and a half years of failure that became an obsession to get pregnant, I’ve done my fair share of sulking! With every new treatment and method we tried in the last 2 years, though, I let myself continue to hope, to keep waiting (although it was HARD), and to continually pray for our desired outcome. As for the latter part of this passage in Romans, we’ve done our best to share with people who are in need. All people are the Lord’s people, since we are all created in his image.

We may not always like our circumstances, but we still are asked to recall that ultimately, it’s out of our control. The best thing any of us can do is to keep putting one foot in front of the other, and keep moving along. Stay focused on the goal. Remember that someone else is calling the shots. All we can do is remain faithful, and know that God’s plan is still what carries us.

Nicole can be reached by email here.

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