Fate and the Paradox of Free Will

August 25, 2009

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” -The Apostle Paul, Ephesians 2:10.

I am constantly and consistently amazed at God’s amazing sovereignty over us despite the random chaos of this present earth! We obstinate and disobedient children of free will; born with the stain of selfishness, pride and self preservation at all costs! We constantly and anxiously seek to go our own way; ripping the authority out of our gracious Father’s rightful hands to our own peril, to our own end! All of our bad choices leading to death and decay, and yet, out of the darkness He breaks through with the light of His revelation and restoration. How does He do it? How does He plan each moment so right to lead us to the place where we can learn to see and hear and be washed clean and made whole again? Why does He do it? What good does He possibly see in us to make such an effort to allow us to be a part of His plan for the salvation of those who would choose to be saved? Wouldn’t it be easier to just appear in the sky and flatten us all with terror and fear? Why does He insist on the mystery and the intimacy? His ways toward us are like the lover who woos His woman with quiet dignity and confidence, rather than the brute who clubs and rapes his way into his desires.

Why does He even bother to use us when we constantly deny Him? When we try so hard to elude Him and His righteousness? Even in our blatant rebellion, He can manipulate our evil for His good. We are like multitudes of buzzing bees collecting our honey addictions; we are an infestation of ants, always looking at the task at hand, yet never looking above to hear the beat of His heart. Are we that predictable that He can somehow allow us our free will, and yet still stay in mastery of the universe? As individual people, yes, of course keeping track is easy; I can certainly predict how my own children will react when they are put in various social and moral situations. I even have a few friends that I know so well, that I could give a good guess how they will respond in the trials of life, but to keep track of all of them at the same time and set the universe in motion to simply bless them? Even as a mighty throng of unending peoples marching through the fields of history, each with his own will, his own desires, He somehow guides the paths we walk down for our own benefit.

How infinite and immense His mind must be! To know us all, from the first to the last, all of us in the here and now, all at the same time, all so intimately. How deep and wide and inexplicable His heart must be to love us all so intimately! Did this Creator become His creation to know me better? How does such a mighty God, who knows the designs of nebulas light years away from this tiny blue planet in an insignificant part of the universe, know the deep dark fragile parts of my heart that need to be healed? What is it to Him, the hidden places of my soul and its cracked and broken wastelands? Why does He care for me when everyone around the world who are hurting worse than me are crying out to Him right now? How does He do it? How does He provide the right words out of random books at the right moment on an unpredictable snow day; simply to redirect me to my purpose? A soft gentle reminder; a word of encouragement simply speaking to me (to us!):

“You can do it. Walk on. The task is not too great for you if you follow My lead.”

Thank you, Jesus!

Peter L Richardson
1/28/09
(untitled)

IMMENSITY
OF YOUR CREATION
OVERWHELMS,
AND I FALL DOWN
DEAD.
INTENSITY
IN YOUR DETAIL
MINUTE
IN ALL OF YOUR
IMAGINATION.
INTIMACY
OF YOUR LOVE FOR ME
REVEALED,
AND I RISE UP
AGAIN.

Peter L Richardson
6/8/01

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