9th October 2020
We want to be in control. We want to know what the Covid restrictions are
going to be, and we don’t like them changing or being different in different
parts of the country. We want to be able to plan and not have our plans
cancelled. When the Prime Minister or the President falls ill, we want to
know who’s running the country. We want to know what will happen at
Christmas, and we want to know now.
The lack of certainty is one of the things affecting people’s mental health
in a bad way. They don’t know what’s going to happen, and they don’t
know anybody who does. It’s one reason people tolerate dictators. The
regime may be harsh, but what they lack in freedom they gain in security
and certainty. It’s why assisted suicide is attractive to some. They want to
be in control of when and where and how they die. What they cannot
choose is not to die.
It’s stating the obvious to say the Covid pandemic has shown us we’re not
in control, and we don’t like it. We couldn’t stop the virus spreading in the
first place. And now we’re not able to contain it and open up the economy
at the same time.
The fact that we’re not in control, and our governments and scientists
aren’t in control, means we think that nobody’s in control. That’s not true.
The Bible assures us again and again that God is in control. One of the
most startling verses in the Bible says, “The lot is cast into the lap, but its
every decision is from the Lord.” We cast a lot, we toss a coin or roll a
die, precisely because we can’t predict how it will land. Its decision is not
from us. The Lord not only knows how the lot will come out; he decides
it. That’s a very high level of control.
I know this raises questions about human freedom and responsibility. The
Bible never sets God’s sovereignty against our responsibility. I strongly
suspect, though, that the main reason we feel uncomfortable with God
being in control is that we want to be in control.
Personally, it gives me enormous comfort to know that the God who’s in
control, who decides the lot, is the same God who gave his Son up for me.
He’s good, I think he’ll do a better job than I will, and I think I can trust
Lord, Thank you that you are in control, even of the toss of a coin, and that
you are good. Help me to trust you. Amen.