Wednesday, February 6, 2008

God is in the details

The following was written sometime when I was in college; slightly revised and updated for posting here, and meant to describe the purpose of this blog:

What “God is in the details” means for me is simply that God appears in situations and places you wouldn’t expect. God understands, controls, and is active in the strange, unexplainable, challenging, and diverse culture and world in which we live. Ultimately, it means that God is sovereign. The bread of life; the light of the world; the living water; the way, the truth, and the life. Regardless of experience, understanding, or belief, the evidence to me is compelling.

God is in the life, example, attention, and care from the Reverend at your church who poured out to you more than you as an ignorant teenager ever deserved. God was in Sigma Chi Fraternity at Indiana University in 1858, and had a plan to build a ministry and a body there through Greek Intervarsity Christian Fellowship 141 years later. God is on the beer-soaked dance floor at a fraternity party where a certain frat guy won’t dance with a gorgeous sorority girl to a Ludicrous song, but only next to her. God was present in the life of the International Undergraduate Representative to the Grand Council of Sigma Chi, and God was in Snowbird, Utah in 2001 at the closing ceremonies of the Horizons Leadership program when that undergraduate representative stood up in front of everyone, including Jewish members of the fraternity, and proclaimed Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit were always the foundation of the Sigma Chi ritual. God was in the seemingly wild decision to go on an overseas mission trip while taking a walk on the beach, and is in the family and community there that changed your life. God was in the diligent search for a house after two years of living at home, and is in the result of that search.

“God is in the details,” means that God has a plan that he reveals subtly in the monotonous aspects of every day life. God plans when you wait in traffic, or in a grocery line, testing your patience, faith, and temperance that should be focused on Him always. God plans when and how you pay your bills, and spend your money, teaching you the temporary nature of the world and all that’s in it. God is on the dollar bills you spend and the coins you store. God is in the daily news. God is in the movies you see, the books you read, and the music you listen to. God was in the lyrics of all Bob Dylan songs, before, during, and after his born-again experience. God is in the plot and the story of screenplays that are written by men and women who know God only generally. God is in The Matrix. God is in the Lord of the Rings. God is on the vacations you take and the pictures you use to remember good times. God is in the frustrations you face and the pains you suffer. God is the arguments you have and compliments you give. God is in the decisions you make and the mistakes you wish you didn’t.

“God is in the details,” means that God also has a plan that he reveals in monumental, history changing events. God’s plan is revealed in a close, potentially controversial fraternity election that indirectly leads the loser to Christ, and His plan is revealed in a very close, very controversial presidential election that puts a God-fearing Christian as leader of the free world. God’s plan is seen in family friendships that ultimately join people together with common passions and desires to see businessmen connect to Christ. God’s plan is revealed in the early death of a high school senior with NBA potential at a Regional basketball game, and the lessons of faith through tragedy that united a class. God’s plan is revealed in the sudden death of a warrior for Christ in Afghanistan, and the amazing testimony that is still affecting a fraternity, a campus, and beyond. God’s plan is revealed in the tragic death of a young man in an alcohol-related car accident, and the resulting life-changing witness by his loved ones to hundreds of youth who are strung out on drugs, or worse, and have no hope. God’s plan is revealed in the explosion of the Sultana Steamboat on the Mississippi River after the Civil War, the most fatal marine disaster in the history of mankind, and God is in the lineage and life of a certain survivor. God is sovereign. All things exist by Him and for Him and through Him.

Have some not realized this? Do some doubt this?

We are only people, created not by ourselves, and destroyed out of our control, which take nothing into this world, and can take nothing out. We are merely a speck of eternity, a crumb of forever, a grain of sand, a wave of the sea. The devil seems to be in the details, but ultimately the devil is only the antagonist in a story and a world that God created and controls and that we experience in those details; whether glorious, or excruciating. God can and will work all things together for good for those who love Him, and have been called according to His purpose.

So what do we do with that?

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