While out and about yesterday I was listening to "Family Life Today" on the car radio. They were airing an interview with Gracia Burnham who I am blessed to serve as pastor. She was recounting the year she spent in captivity in the jungle with her husband Martin. It is an amazing and terrifying story. If you have never read "In the Presence of My Enemies" I reccommend it.
Anyway, as the interview was concluding Gracia made one of the best, if not the best explanation of the sovereign goodness of God I have ever heard. Gracia confessed that had she been in charge the whole incident would never have happened. Who would not agree? Had she been in charge then she and Martin would never have been kidnapped and held captive for a year in the jungle. Of course most supremely had Gracia been in charge of events then her beloved husband Martin would still be with her serving the Lord. Who cannot fully agree with Gracia?
And this is where Gracia made the statement that made my eyes fill with tears and say out loud, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" as I was driving. She said, "But God is God. He does the choosing, not me; and I trust that He is good." It sounds simple at one level. But when it comes from the lips of one who has forgotten more about suffering that most of us will ever know those words stand out brightly. Those words carry a freight train of theology. They are doxological words. A God like this brings forth praise from the lips of those who know Him. They are devotional words. A God like this inspires awe and grateful obedience. They are mysterious words. Who can fully comprehend a God like this? Are we not left silent like Job in the presence of such a God?
Thank you Gracia for your testimony. I thank God for His grace in persevering you. I thank God that you have been given a glimpse of His glory in the face of your suffering.