In the middle of writing my column this month I deleted what I wrote and have started over because I just received word from one of my closest friends that his wife, pregnant with their long-awaited second child, might be experiencing a miscarriage. My heart is overwhelmed with sorrow not knowing what the future holds for them. As I write, my friend and his wife are on their way to the doctor’s office. Having experienced the miscarriage of our first child years ago, my wife and I can empathize with our friends. Those who have experienced the loss of a child not-yet-born know the fear and anxiety I’m speaking of. Words fail us as we try to express the pain of such loss. As a man, a friend, a pastor, I have few words of wisdom for him as he seeks to comfort his wife and as they both seek comfort from our sovereign Lord.
As believers, we don’t question God’s sovereignty — quite the opposite. We don’t worry because we have forgotten the most basic tenet of theology, namely, that God is God — sovereign. We worry knowing full well He is sovereign, yet in our self-absorbed kingdoms we often forget that it is an eternally gracious sovereignty toward those reconciled to Him through Christ.
As we live before the face of God each day with real reasons for real anxiety, we can rest assured that His sovereignty (not ours)- — His control (not ours) — His faithfulness (not ours) — is our only real hope in this sad world. For that which He creates He sustains, that which He authors He perfects, and that which He begins He completes. And whether we are comfortably numb to our anxieties or fully aware of them, it is neither our acceptance, control, nor rationalization of them that will free us from our self-created, self-controlled, self-contained prisons of anxiety. We will only be free when we become as dependent on God as the birds of the air that our heavenly Father feeds and whose songs lift our eyes heavenward when we hear them sing, “Son of Adam, don’t worry for tomorrow, cast all your cares on Him, for if He cares for me, how much more does He care for you?”
Dr. Burk Parsons (@BurkParsons) is editor of Tabletalk magazine, senior pastor of Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Sanford, Fla., and a Ligonier Ministries teaching fellow. He is cotranslator and coeditor of A Little Book on the Christian Life by John Calvin.