The record of God’s hand in history is impressive. The stories of the Bible document how God has interacted with His creation. The ones that stand out the most, of course, are the ones where the extraordinary happens: David defeats Goliath; the motherless gives birth to a son named Samuel; corruption is overturned when Daniel survives the lions. We love these stories because deep within us is that desire to see the weak and vulnerable win, and injustice defeated. We read those stories and we have hope because all of us, at one time or another, are in the position of vulnerability and suffer injustice.
While the stories are told in the context of human history, and people just like us are key players, ultimately these are stories about God. He is always the principle character. He may be hidden, it may appear that He is too late. Sometimes, like in the story of Esther, He never directly reveals Himself. But He is always there, always engaged.
This is what makes our God unique. Solomon wrote in Proverbs that “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good." Injustice does not escape His gaze. While we may want a miracle solution to our problems, God’s desire is for our character to be transformed and our faith to be strengthened. Living for God is not for the faint of heart (that's why it is called "faith")! But it is for those who are willing to trust, persevere and endure.
By its very nature, faith demands courage (think Abraham), may include risk (think Peter), and often is counter-intuitive (think Naaman). Yet it is essential to a relationship with our Creator God. Walking with God is no guarantee that all our problems will be fixed, but it absolutely guarantees that everything has a purpose. Our human nature, in its quest for autonomy, seeks explanations. Often, God does not tell us what it is. Thus Solomon reminds us that "God is in heaven, you are on earth; let your words be few" (Eccl. 5:1-3).
Faith may not always make sense. It thus demands we acknowledge our lack of control. For some reason, though, we crave that control. Control is illusionary, but we certainly like to think we have it. Granted, there are a lot of things in life over which God has granted us stewardship. But ultimately we do not have control.
Thankfully, faith is not blind. It is not a leap into the dark. It is a relationship with a God who wants to be known, who walks with us, and who extends to us immeasurable grace and love. How much better to leave the control to Him!