Ants and God’s sovereignty

It’s only when you look at an ant through a magnifying glass on a sunny day that you realize how often they burst into flames.

I appreciate comedian Harry Hill’s sense of humor, and I especially appreciated it in college. The image of an ant under the scrutiny of a magnifying glass holds a particular profundity when you’re facing midterm exams, term papers, theater rehearsals and weekly newspaper deadline sessions that lasted until 4 a.m.

The bursting into flames part – well, as a result of the time crunch I inflicted on myself, my grades occasionally did just that.

I’ve been feeling a bit like that ant of late. With my last day at work quickly approaching and several large-scale projects still sitting on my “to-do” list, both at work and at home, it’s tempting to get overwhelmed.

Why do obstacles continually crop up? Why is it that my sense of calling falls flat sometimes? And, most pressing it seems, how on Earth are all of the preparations going get finished in time?

But that’s where I stumble. It’s so easy to make this process something only I can accomplish. It’s not. There is nothing I can do to make the preparation go faster or the process smoother. It exposes my weakness. I say I believe God is sovereign but all too often, I don’t really believe it.

In the midst of that weakness though, God is still sovereign. And He is always at work in me, using the circumstances and events of life as the magnifying glass to reveal my weakness and demonstrate His greatness. That’s the beauty of sanctification,  and that’s why I continue to be inspired by the life and writings of John Newton:

I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be. But still, I am not what I used to be. And by the grace of God, I am what I am.

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